The Chinese Government is taking measures to tighten pollution standards for rare earth mining in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

Inner Mongolia government rare earth adviser Yang Wanxi said the draft regulation had been filed with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which is canvassing opinion within the industry on the proposals, reports China Daily.

According to experts, the permissible amount of the pollutant ammonia nitrogen per litre of production wastewater will be lowered from 25mg to 15mg, Wanxi said.

China’s decision to stop issuing rare earth mining licences in 2006 led to the closure of many small mines.

In September 2010 the government announced draft guidelines aimed at bringing down the number of rare earth firms from 90 to 20 by 2015, which encouraged mergers and acquisitions in the sector.