And today's big news?
First the backstory via the New York Times, Dec. 29:
In China, Gang Run Illegal Rare Earth Mines Face Crackdown
And on the 30th:
Main Victims of Mines Run by Gangsters Are Peasants
Which leads us to today's headline from Peoples Daily:
Rare earth industry may face tougher ecological standards
As reported by the AP via Bloomberg:
Report: China preparing new rare earths standards
And Reuters Africa:
UPDATE 1-China to control rare earth extraction, pollution
Here's Peoples Daily:
New standards for rare earth sector
Rules part of efforts to crack down on illegal mining, reduce exports ...MORE
It is estimated that as much as half of the world's production of the heavy REE's are produced illegally in China.