China announced Wednesday that it will cut exports of rare earth minerals by 10 per cent in 2011. The country controls 97 per cent of the world supply of metals such as scandium and yttrium, which are essential for making LCD TVs, PC monitors, smart phones, wind turbines and hybrid cars. Two Australian mining companies that own the biggest supplies of rare earths outside China saw their shares rise 11 per cent each on the news. The U.S., which mined no rare earths last year said last week that it is “very concerned” about Chinese restraints and it may file a case at the World Trade Organization. In September, China frightened some Japanese high-tech manufacturers like Sony when it blocked all rare earth shipments after a fight over disputed territory. China says it is restricting exports because of growing demand at home and environmental concerns related to exploration and production.
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