MAC/20: Mines and Communities

China strengthens zinc and lead smelting regulations - NDRC

Published by MAC on 2007-03-23

China strengthens zinc and lead smelting regulations - NDRC

China plans to block all new lead projects under 50,000 tons, according to a statement released by the National Development and Reform Commission on March 16.

The Chinese government aims to eliminate outdated production capacity in the industry, limit over-expansions and maintain a supply and demand balance for lead and zinc.

Zinc smelters with an annual capacity of under 100,000 tons and secondary lead producers with a capacity of under 10,000 tons will be gradually phased out. Secondary lead facility expansions and upgrades will be required to have a minimum production capacity of 20,000 tons per annum, while new secondary-lead projects will be required to have an annual capacity over 50,000 tons.

New lead and zinc mines will be blocked if their annual capacity is under 30,000 tons and service period less than 15 years. Medium scale mines are advised to have an annual output of at least 300,000 tons.

Mining projects with investment over RMB 500 million ($64.64 million) will be required to attain NDRC approval, smaller scale projects will require provincial government approval. In addition, at least 35 percent of the capital for lead and zinc mining, smelting and regeneration utilization projects must be in the form of liquid assets.

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