Prices of some rare earth metals double in two weeks  China controls more than 95 percent of the globe's rare earth metal supplies, and it appears to be tightening its grip on the critical metals, according to a published report.

Bloomberg reports that the prices of some rare earths have surged more than 100 percent over the past two weeks as China's government moved to increase its control of domestic supplies. The price of rare earths, which are used in a myriad of products including smartphones and personal computers, could rise even higher over the coming months, industry analysts assert.

"Prices of heavy rare earths have surged since the start of the month as the Chinese government announced further plans to centralize control over the country’s mining assets," Industrial Minerals editor Mark Watts said.

China used its stranglehold on rare earth production to enforce embargoes on Japan, the U.S. and Western European countries late last year, though the government never admitted to those charges.

For their part, Chinese officials had previously said they would curb rare earth production because of its deleterious environmental effects. The government also said it would raise standards for exporters and would not plan new project expansions to slow overcapacity.
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