as shown at Fig-1.The same can be inferred from Table-1 showing the production of rare earth from 1983-2003.The geographical location of major rare earth mines are shown at Fig-2.China, which produced 120,000 tonnes or 97% of world output of rare earths in 2009, is undeniably the largest producer of rare earths globally, with India trailing far behind at a distant second place producing only around 2% of the global output(Humphries,6),(Rare Metal Mining, Nov 7,2010). The Baotou’s Bayan Obo mines in Inner Mongolia of China, containing 40,000,000 tonnes of rare earth oxides hold the largest estimated deposits of rare earths in the world, producing 55,000 tonnes of rare earths annually, which is more than 50% of rare earths presently extracted in China. Neodymium and Lanthanum are produced from left-overs of iron ores at these mines(Forbes.com). The US company Moly Corp at Mountain Pass, California is the topmost rare earth producing plant outside of China, with 6 tonnes daily output of rare earth oxides which approximates to 40-67% of rare earths extracted outside of Chinese mainland(Lifton J, Rare Earth Crisis-Part-1).
China, Japan, Korea and the EU are supposedly following a policy of maintaining reserves of rare earths. The European Union has identified as strategic and critical, 40 metals for safeguarding and stockpiling purposes( Lifton J, Rare Metals,5).China, has only recently embarked upon a similar policy of establishing and maintaining rare earth reserves to stabilize their prices. It has been reported that China has plans to store 200,000 tonnes of rare earth oxide reserves spread over 10 strategically located reserves(Deloitte,3). China appears to have become concerned about its rising domestic consumption of rare earths, fuelled by rapid industrialization of its metallurgical sector and consumer demands in varied other sectors such as wind turbine, and electronic goods such as cell phones, laptops and in green energy technologies.