BAOTOU, Inner Mongolia, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- China's rare earth industry has made progress since the State Council implemented a series of policies two years ago, a government official said Thursday.
Through joint efforts from several government departments, the rare earth industry has created a standardized management system, said Chen Yanhai, director of the Raw Materials Department under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), at the fifth China Baotou Rare Earth Industry Forum.
The forum kicked off on Thursday in the city of Baotou in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, which accounts for more than half of the world's output of light rare earth metals.
Chen said industrial management standards and regulations, as well as pollutant emission standards and rare earth resource taxes, have been put into place to ensure the industry's healthy development.
"Industrial order has been regulated following crackdowns on illegal activity in recent years," Chen said.
Chen said 14 illegal mines were shut down and 14 rare earth smuggling cases involving 400 million yuan (65 million U.S. dollars) were investigated from 2011 to 2012.
Chen said more than 4 billion yuan has been spent to strengthen environmental protection investigations in the sector.
A campaign to cut down on the illegal exploitation, production and transportation of rare earth metals will be launched by the MIIT, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Ministry of Land and Resources from Aug. 15 to Nov. 15.