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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rare Metal Sales Must Be Regulated

Russia should set up a body to regulate exports of rare minor metals, Nikolai Bobov, chief of a government crime unit, was reported as saying Wednesday.

Russia loses at least $50 million a year from the illegal export of minor metals such as rhenium, cadmium, caesium, yttrium and niobium, Bobov, a senior member of the Interior Ministry's Department of Economic Crime, told Kommersant.

"It would be pointless to try to completely ban the export of rare minor metals," Bobov said in the interview.

"The most sensible thing to do would be set up an institute of special exports along the lines of the Ministry of Industry," he said, referring to the fact that some industries, such the arms sector, operate under different export rules.

Bobov mentioned incidents where osmium, gallium and concentrate containing high levels of precious and rare minor metals had either disappeared from research laboratories or turned up for sale illegally.

"We calculate that about 10 percent of (Russian) rare metals are exported illegally," said Bobov, who heads a section of the department dealing, among other issues, with protection of raw materials.