The German government and about 10 companies based in Europe's biggest economy are planning to found a company before the end of the year to buy key raw material needed by the industrial sector, German magazine Der Spiegel reported.

Without citing sources, it said that the companies, which include BASF , Daimler , Evonik and ThyssenKrupp , will each invest a six-digit figure in the project.

ThyssenKrupp, Germany's biggest steelmaker, said a year ago that the government and German companies should band together to buy raw materials. Germany depends on raw materials from abroad to power its export-driven economy.

German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle at the time also urged industrial firms to set up a Deutsche Rohstoff AG, or a German raw materials company, to find and secure rare earths, which are used to manufacture a range of high tech products.

But he also ruled out the state's taking a stake in it.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)