BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) -- China has announced the first batch of rare earth and tungsten mining output quotas for this year.
The first batch of quota for rare earths totals 60,000 tonnes, about half the quota set for 2018, according to a circular jointly issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Of the total, 50,425 tonnes have been allocated for light rare earths, with 9,575 tonnes for medium and heavy rare earth metals.
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.
The first batch of mining output quota for tungsten is set at 49,835 tonnes.