MAC/20: Mines and Communities

China update

Published by MAC on 2007-03-02


China update

2nd March 2007

In line with the recent decision to shut down small coal -fired power plants, the Chinese regime is now ordering the closure of all small cement plants . The laudable aim is to cut energy consumption and pollution. But, of course, this will depend on reducing high-carbon or toxic fuel inputs into the plants which continue to operate. China is both the world's biggest producer and consumer of cement.

Meanwhile, small-scale steelmakers in the country are facing a possible drought in supplies of cheap iron ore and concentrates from India, as China's neighbour announces a hike in export duties in order to "conserve" its own "scarce natural resources."

The bigger Chinese steel producers don't seem too worried at this prospect. Most of their supplies are tied up in long term contracts with the huge Australian and Brazilian-based mining companies, CVRD-Inco, Rio Tinto and BHPBilliton.

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