China's rare earth industry faces the challenge of “internal and external attack”

Abstract “The current capacity of China's rare earth industry is over-represented, and foreign countries have continuously achieved results in the exploration and development of rare earth minerals. Under the internal and external attacks, the situation of Chinese rare earth enterprises is not very optimistic.” Yang Zhanfeng, dean of the Baotou Rare Earth Research Institute, is not worried. Say. &n
"At present, the production capacity of China's rare earth industry is over-represented, and foreign countries have continuously achieved results in the exploration and development of rare earth minerals. Under the internal and external attacks, the situation of Chinese rare earth enterprises is not very optimistic." Yang Zhanfeng, dean of Baotou Rare Earth Research Institute, is not worried. .

The proven resources of rare earths in China once accounted for nearly 90% of the world, and the rare earth industry has developed rapidly and has unlimited scenery. Today, China's rare earth industry in the middle reaches such as rare earth separation and smelting, alloy materials and other areas of production capacity has been severely over-capacity, and at the international level, the United Kingdom, Russia and other sources have reported the development of major rare earth projects, which makes domestic rare earth enterprises feel pressure.

China's Rare Earth Industry Association Secretary-General Ma Rongzhen and other industry insiders said that there are more than 110 rare earth separation and smelting enterprises in China, with an annual production capacity of 300,000 tons, but in 2012 China's legal rare earth separation and smelting products output was only 82,000 tons. The annual average annual consumption of rare earths is only about 120,000 tons. As a result of this calculation, the comprehensive operating rate of China's rare earth separation and smelting enterprises is less than 30%.

“Stimulated by economic interests, the production capacity of various rare earth alloy materials in China has expanded rapidly in the past few years, and it has already shown a general surplus situation,” said Zhuang Zhigang, president of Xiamen Tungsten Industry Co., Ltd.

Despite the serious overcapacity of the rare earth upstream enterprises, the new rare earth industrial projects and industrial parks in China are still emerging.

"In 2000, the annual production capacity of China's NdFeB rare earth permanent magnet materials was only 0.8 million tons. In just ten years, the production capacity has increased by more than 30 times. However, expansion and new construction projects are still emerging." Beijing Zhi Channel Consulting Co., Ltd. Analyst Wu Chenhui said.

Since 2010, many regions in China have been constructing and planning rare earth industrial parks. There are about 18 rare earth industrial parks in the country. These parks mostly extend resources to the middle and lower reaches of the industry, involving rare earth separation and smelting and production and processing of rare earth alloy materials. The problem of similar and low-level redundant construction is serious.

Although the production capacity of the domestic rare earth industry is saturated, due to factors such as rising Rare Earth market in the international market, the United States, Australia, Russia, India, Brazil, Thailand and other countries have begun to resume or start developing rare earth resources in recent years. As these projects are put into production, China's rare earth industry is facing greater operational pressure.

For this kind of internal and external pressure, some insiders think that it is not all bad. Zhang Anwen, deputy secretary-general of the China Rare Earth Society, said: "The change in supply pattern is conducive to the extension of China's rare earth mine service years and is conducive to the sustainable use of China's rare earth resources. Over the past 20 years, the global supply of rare earths has been heavily dependent on China, leading to China's rare earth resources. The problem of excessive consumption, illegal exploitation and destruction of the ecological environment is outstanding."

China's rare earth industry, which has realized the crisis and challenges, has now stepped up its integration and mergers, and initially built a number of resource mining, smelting and separation, processing and application, and technology research and development in Baotou Steel Rare Earth Group, Chinalco Group and Minmetals Group. As one of the rare earth backbone enterprises.

While setting up a large-scale rare earth group to speed up, China will also increase the production capacity of rare earths through environmental protection verification, environmental restoration and management, resource tax reform, improvement of industry access policies, optimization of production directive plan management, and improvement of relevant laws and regulations. Eliminate efforts to further promote the transformation and upgrading of the rare earth industry structure.

"In the future, the development direction of China's rare earth industry must be to produce high value-added products, improve the comprehensive utilization of resources, and improve the competitiveness of products, so as to maintain the advantage." Ma Rongzhen said.

        The industry believes that the global diversified supply pattern of rare earths has taken shape, and China's share will decline, but China's dominant position in the international rare earth market will be difficult to shake. At present, the rare earth development projects implemented abroad mainly produce light rare earth products. Therefore, the market competition of light rare earth products will become increasingly fierce in the future, but China will still dominate the production and supply of medium and heavy rare earth products.

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