HOHHOT, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- A rare earth industrial alliance has been established in Baotou City, the "capital of rare earth," in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, authorities announced Wednesday.
Baotou is the world's largest rare earth exploitation, smelting and processing base, and churns out nearly half of China's rare earth exploitation quota every year. Industrial output of the sector in Baotou exceeded 14 billion yuan (2.1 billion U.S. dollars) last year.
Tong Yanru, a rare earth official with Baotou's economy and information technology commission, said the alliance, administrated by the commission, includes 70 members involved in rare earth exploitation, smelting, processing, and research and development.
Zhang Zhong, chairman of China Northern Rare Earth (Group) Hi-Tech Co. Ltd., was named president of the alliance.
The alliance will advocate protection and rational development of rare earth resources, establish an industry supervision mechanism, and help coordinate between companies to balance supply and demand, Zhang said.
It will also work toward reducing price fluctuations by providing market information for fair market competition and protect the interests of the industry as a whole, he said.
According to Zhang, the alliance will also advise the government on policymaking and support the R&D and application of rare earth across the hi-tech industrial sector.
Rare earths, a class of 17 minerals, are some of the most sought after metals due to their use in IT, new energy, nuclear industry and aviation and aerospace. China is the source of over 90 percent of rare earths bought worldwide.