BEIJING, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- China has set the first batch of mining output quotas for rare earth and tungsten this year, according to a government notice released Wednesday.
The first batch of quota for rare earths is set at 66,000 tonnes, about half the annual quota for 2019, said a circular jointly issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
This marks an increase from the 60,000-tonne quota for the first batch of 2019.
Of the total, 56,425 tonnes have been allocated for light rare earths, and 9,575 tonnes for medium and heavy rare earth metals.
The first batch of mining output quota for tungsten is set at 52,500 tonnes, up from 49,835 tonnes a year ago.
China is one of the world's major suppliers of rare earths, a group of 17 elements that are widely used in high-tech products ranging from flat-screen TVs to lasers and hybrid cars.
However, decades of excessive exploitation of the minerals have greatly damaged the environment. To curb environmental degradation and protect the resources, the country implemented a range of policies, including output caps, stricter emissions standards and a crackdown on illegal mining.
China will unveil the second batch of mining output quotas in the second quarter in accordance with government policies and market conditions, the circular said.