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China to impose rare earth resource tax

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HOHHOT, March 24 (Xinhua) -- China will impose a tax on rare earth minerals starting April 1, according to a statement issued jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation to rare earth producers.

Zhang Zhong, general manager of Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co., the country's leading rare earth producer, confirmed Thursday that the company had received the statement.

According to the statement, the tax rate of mined light rare earths is 60 yuan (9.1 U.S. dollars) per tonne, while that of medium and heavy rare earths is set at 30 yuan per tonne.

Zhang said the tax would increase the company's production costs by about 720 million yuan this year.

Zhang also said that measures, such as the resource tax, taken to protect the rare earth resources would benefit the company in the long run.

The company headquartered in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is currently the world's biggest producer of rare earth magnets widely used for making electronic products like computer hard drives and cordless tools.

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