China not willing to be major rare earth supplier

Updated: 2011-09-15 11:59


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BEIJING - China's top rare earth producer said on Thursday that the country is not intent to maintain its role as the world's major rare earth supplier, and the trend of tight supplies is irreversible.

"The country will gradually shift to a domestic demand-oriented path from the external demand-oriented path," said Li Zhong, vice president of Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Holding Co.

Prices of rare earths are expected to stay at high levels during the rest of the year, Li said at the ongoing Rare Earths 2011 conference that runs from September 15 to 16.