MAC: Mines and Communities

China to increase mineral prospecting - official

Published by MAC on 2006-12-29
Source: Interfax China

China to increase mineral prospecting - official

Interfax China

29th December 2007

The Chinese government plans to speed up prospecting for new mineral resources in order to increase strategic resources reserves, said a government leader Tuesday in Beijing.

The Chinese government plans to build a series of large and medium mines, speed up mining in deep ocean areas, and increase large coalmines' capacity to 60 percent of country's total coal capacity, said Zeng Peiyan, China's vice premier.

Future prospecting will concentrate on 16 kinds of resources including oil, natural gas, coal, uranium, iron, copper and aluminum, he said.

By 2010, there will be a number of large mining bases in western China as depleted mines in eastern China increase.

Zeng said that the central government will allocate RMB 2 billion ($256.41 million) for the initial prospecting of important and large deposits.

More than 120 prospecting projects are being planned so far, he said.

Moreover, the income from mining rights transfers and other mining incomes for central and local governments will be mainly used for prospecting.

The government also encourages state-owned geology prospecting authorities to establish mining joint ventures, he said.

Besides encouraging prospecting, the government will also support the comprehensive exploitation of existing large multi-mineral mines, including the Baiyun'ebo rare earth and iron mine in Inner Mongolia, the Jinchuan copper and nickel mine in Gansu, Panzhihua vanadium, titanium, and magnetite mine in Suchuan, and the Shizhuyuan multi-mineral mine in Hunan.

China's crude consumption reached 330 million tons in 2005, while its output was only 180 million tons. Its iron ore concentrate consumption was 530 million tons, but the domestic supply was only 260 million tons.

The copper concentrate prices increased by 120 percent and iron ore concentrate prices by 260 percent in the past four years. Important mineral resources shortages have become a serious problem hindering China's economic development.

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