MORE MINERALS: China on Wednesday slightly increased this year's quota for rare earths exports under controversial controls on the exotic minerals needed by manufacturers of mobile phones and other high-tech products.

THE NUMBERS: The Commerce Ministry announced an export quota of 9,770 tons for the second half of the year. Added to the quota for the first six months of the year, that brings the 2012 total to 30,996 tons — an increase of about 3 percent over 2011.

WHY IT MATTERS: China has about 30 percent of the world's rare earths deposits but accounts for more than 90 percent of production.