) -- China's Commerce Ministry has announced that it will slash exports of rare earth minerals by 10% during the first half of 2011.

China is allocating 14,446 tons, or 13,105 metric tons, of rare earths among 31 companies.

According to a report from the


, China is responsible for 97% of the global production of rare earths and minerals, and are relied on by technology companies for use in devices such as cell phones and computers.

"Relevant departments are in consultation on yearly rare earth export quotas for 2011, which will be decided after evaluating domestic output and demand at home and abroad, as well as requirements for sustainable development," said China's Commerce Ministry in a statement.

-- Written by Ross Tucker in New York.

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