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Japan retreat leaves rare metals at Beijing's mercy

More than 100 rare earth producers in China will be consolidated into six by June.

TOKYO -- As Japanese companies begin stepping away from rare metals due to slumping prices, China is beginning to boost its presence in the market.

     State-owned Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., also known as JOGMEC, in December 2015 cancelled a joint exploration contract for a tungsten mine in Australia. China produces 80% of the global supply of tungsten, one of the raw material used in the manufacture of carbide tools.

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