MAC: Mines and Communities

China update

Published by MAC on 2007-06-06

China update

6th June 2007

The Chinese government claims to have punished more than five thousand officials, involved in nearly 100,000 cases of illegal trading of mine licences and operations.

New or expanded mineral ventures are announced by Chinese companies operating in Australia, South Africa and Tanzania.

The current trend in China is towards heavily reducing primary aluminium imports (where at least some value would have been added in the producing country) , while boosting bauxite imports by nearly 225% from January 2007, according to official government figures .

In April alone, 1.3 million tonnes of bauxite was imported from Indonesia and over half a million tonnes from India.

During the first quarter of this year, Indonesian mines (and land) supplied more than four and a half million tonnes of bauxite, while Indian mines (and miners) provided nearly one and a half million tonnes.

China punishes over 5,000 officials for illegal coal mine participation

Xinhua news service

3rd June 2007

More than 5,000 Chinese civil servants participating in coal mine operations have received punishment in almost 100,000 illegal mining cases since 2005, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR).

By the end of 2006, China has investigated 89,926 cases of mining with no licenses, 1,907 cases involving illegal trading of prospecting and mining rights, and 5,795 cases of mining beyond boundary lines, said Jia Qihai, a senior official in charge of mining resources development in MLR.

A total of 2,154 people received penal treatment for illegal coal mining, he said.

However, the MLR official specified neither where or what ministries these civil servants come from nor the kinds of punishment they took.

China has been cracking down on illegal mining since the State Council, the country's cabinet, demanded an overall straighten-out campaign in August 2005.

"Generally speaking, the number of cases of illegal mining are declining sharply and mine resources are exploited in a more orderly manner," said Jia, who also called for more related efforts to address this issue.

"Officials in some regions still haven't realized the graveness of the situation and supervision and institutional construction remains weak," he said.

Coal mine accidents killed 4,746 people in China in 2006. On average, 17 miners lose their lives everyday in Chinese coal mines, which are the world's deadliest.

On May 10, the State Administration of Work Safety announced punishment on 133 people held responsible for five serious accidents that claimed 249 lives. Four of the five accidents occurred in coal mines. The largest single accident was a mine blast in Hebei Province on Dec. 7, 2005, which killed 108 people.

Update on China's mineral ventures overseas:

Australia: The Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corporation (Angang) has entered into an agreement to purchase a 12.94 percent stake in Western Australian iron ore group Gindalbie Metals Ltd., which is also Angang's current joint venture partner on the Karara Project. Gindalbie has agreed to issue 65 million shares to Angang in order to raise AUD $39 million (US$ 32.43 million), making Angang the second largest shareholder in Gindalbie.

Angang, one of the largest steelmakers in China, currently produces 22 million tons of crude steel per annum, and is set to produce 30 million tons by 2010.

Gindalbie, an Australia-listed mid-tier iron ore company founded in 1994, intends to become a leading supplier of high-grade magnetite concentrate and quality pellets to the global markets, and in particular the rapidly expanding Chinese steel industry.

South Africa: Maanshan Iron and Steel Co. Ltd., a Shanghai-listed Maanshan Iron and Steel Group subsidiary, has entered into a 10-year off-take agreement with South African-based Kumba Iron Ore *, According to a Maanshan Steel spokesperson, the company currently imports over 10 million tons of iron ore per annum, mainly from Australia and Brazil.

Tanzania: Sichuan Hongda Industry Group plans to develop mineral resources in Tanzania, in particular exploiting deposits of lead, zinc and gold.

Privately-owned Sichuan Hongda established a mining company in Tanzania last year that has a registered capital of $10 million, which is engaged in infrastructure construction and includes a seaport.

[source: Interfax China Metals, June 8 2007]

* Editorial note: Kumba Iron Ore is 65% owned by UK-based Anglo American plc.

China's aluminum imports plummet 45.4 pct yearly in first four months

China's primary aluminum imports in the first four months of this year stood at 53,856 tons, diving 45.4 percent from the same period last year, according to statistics released by the Customs General Administration.

China's bauxite imports from January to April soared by 245.5 percent to 6.46 million tons while alumina imports reached 2.05 million tons in the four-month period, down 7.4 percent from the same period last year.

China's primary aluminum exports in the first four months reached 74,087 tons, plunging 73.6 percent from the same period last year. Aluminum alloy exports stood at 118,158 tons, down 6.5 percent.

[Interfax China Metals, 8 June 2997]

En espagnol:

China castiga a más de 5.000 funcionarios por participación ilegal en minas

de carbón

03/06/2007, Agencia de Xinhua

Más de 5.000 funcionarios públicos chinos que participan en la operación de minas de carbón fueron sancionados en casi 100.000 casos de minería ilegales desde 2005, según estadísticas divulgadas por el Ministerio de Tierra y Recursos (MTR).

Para finales de 2006, China había investigado 89.826 casos de minería sin licencia, con 1.907 casos involucrando comercio ilegal de derechos de exploración y minería, y 5.795 casos de minería traspasando líneas limitantes, dijo Jia Qihai, un alto funcionario a cargo de desarrollo de recursos mineros en el MTR.

Un total de 2.154 personas recibieron sanciones penales por minado ilegal de carbón, dijo.

Sin embargo, el funcionario del MTR no especificó de dónde ni de cuáles ministerios provienen esos servidores civiles, ni la clase de sanciones que se les aplicaron.

China ha estado combatiendo la minería ilegal desde que el Consejo de Estado, el gabinete del país, exigió una campaña general para imponer el orden en agosto de 2005.

"Hablando en general, el número de casos de minería ilegal está declinando marcadamente y los recursos mineros son explotados en una forma más ordenada", dijo Jia, quien hizo también un llamado para que se realicen mayores esfuerzos dirigidos a alcanzar este objetivo.

"Funcionarios en algunas regiones no han comprendido todavía la gravedad de la situación y la supervisión y construcción institucional siguen siendo débiles", dijo.

Los accidentes en minas de carbón mataron a 4.746 personas en China en 2006. En promedio, 17 mineros pierden la vida cada día en las minas de carbón china s, que son las más letales del mundo.

El 10 de mayo, la Administración Estatal de Seguridad Laboral anunció castigos para 133 personas declaradas culpables de cinco accidentes graves que cobraron 249 vidas. cuatro de los cinco accidentes ocurrieron en minas de carbón.

El accidente invividual más serio ocurrió por el estallido en una mina de la provincia de Hebei el 7 de diciembre de 2005, que mató a 108 personas.


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