MAC/20: Mines and Communities

China Update

Published by MAC on 2006-11-15


China Update

15th November 2006

China's investment in mining industry up 33.4 % in first three quarters: official

Source: Xinhua

15th November 2006

China's investment in mining industry saw a 33.4 percent growth to 256.75billion yuan in the first nine months of this year, according to a senior official of the Ministry of Land and Resources.

Vice Minister Wang Min told an international mining conference, which kicked off here on Tuesday, that China's mining industry witnessed a rapid growth in investment, exploration and production from January to September this year.

The investment in oil, metal and non-metal smelting and pressing sectors totaled 409.87 billion yuan, up 14 percent from the same period of last year.

According to the vice minister, in the nine-month period, China's raw coal output hit 1.478 billion tons, up 11.7 percent, and crude oil output grew 1.7 percent year on year to 138 million tons.

Meanwhile, the production of coke rose 16.7 percent to 200 million tons, that of iron ore, up 37.7 percent to 4 million tons, and cement output came to 870 million tons, up 20.7 percent.


Canada woos mine partners from China

GEOFFREY YORK, Toronto Globe and Mail

15th November 2006

BEIJING -- In a renewed effort to woo Chinese mining money, Canada is handing out stacks of detailed geological maps and data sheets to anyone who wanders past its booth at the annual China mining conference in Beijing.

The maps -- giving the precise locations of everything from copper and gold finds to uranium and zinc deposits -- were quickly snapped up by the scores of Chinese mining executives who crowded around the Canadian booth yesterday.

It was a clear signal that the new Conservative government in Ottawa is throwing open its doors to Chinese miners, despite the political furor over a failed Chinese corporate bid to acquire Noranda Inc. in 2004.

While in opposition, Tory MPs questioned the Chinese bid for Noranda, suggesting that it should be blocked because of possible human rights abuses by China Minmetals Corp., the state-owned company that spearheaded the bid.

Those concerns seem to be forgotten now. Gary Lunn, the federal Minister of Natural Resources, made a strong pitch to Chinese mining executives yesterday. "I would like to encourage Chinese investment in Canada," he told the mining conference in Beijing.

"Partnering with Canadian companies can help you secure the minerals and metals that China needs to fulfill its economic development," he said. "We invite Chinese mining companies to jointly explore and develop these and other deposits in Canada."

After the failed bid for Noranda, many Chinese investors were convinced that the deal was killed by hostile politicians in Ottawa. For a long time afterward, this perception cast a negative shadow over China's potential interest in investing in Canada. It's a perception the Conservative government now seems keen to dispel.

"We're absolutely trying to attract investment, we think it's important, and we made that point in a number of meetings here," Mr. Lunn said in an interview yesterday. "We've had some very positive discussions. We think the model that works very well is to partner with a Canadian company. That's what we've said in all of our meetings, and it's been well received."

He refused, however, to discuss the ramifications of the Noranda bid. Nor would he explain whether "partnering" could include any future Chinese acquisitions of Canadian companies.

Provincial politicians, too, are trying to lure mining investment from China. Two provincial cabinet ministers -- from B.C. and Saskatchewan -- are scheduled to speak to the conference today.

"As China's economy continues its fast pace of growth . . . its need for natural resources will increase," Saskatchewan Industry and Resources Minister Eric Cline says in the text of a speech he is due to deliver today. "Saskatchewan has those resources and is a trading jurisdiction. I look forward to increasing our already close ties to China."

Canadian miners, meanwhile, are increasingly active in developing projects in China. But there are still widespread concerns about Chinese barriers to investment, including the difficulty of converting an exploration licence into a mining licence after a foreign investor discovers a large mineral deposit. Mr. Lunn said he raised this issue yesterday in a meeting with China's Minister of Land and Resources.

"It's in their interest and our interest that we create certainty for the mining industry. But we've seen progress in foreign investment protection, especially at the central government. The difficulty seems to be especially with the local governments."


Crecen inversiones en la minería de China

Beijing, 16 nov (PL) Las inversiones en el sector de la minería de China aumentaron en un 33,4 por ciento desde enero a septiembre de este año para alcanzar la cifra de 32 mil 100 millones de dólares, informó hoy una fuente oficial.

Wang Min, viceministro de la cartera de Tierra y Recursos Naturales, mencionó el rápido crecimiento experimentado por esa vertiente económica en los primeros nueve meses del año y en los resultados de la producción.

Al hablar en una conferencia internacional sobre el tema, el funcionario puntualizó que las inversiones en el petróleo y la fundición de metales llegaron a 51 mil 100 millones de dólares, lo que significó un aumento de 11,7 por ciento.

De esa manera, la producción nacional de petróleo crudo aumentó en un 1,7 por ciento para llegar a 138 millones de toneladas en ese período.

Agregó que la producción de mineral de hierro llegó a cuatro millones de toneladas, para un incremento del 37,7 por ciento, y la de cemento alcanzó la cifra de 870 millones de toneladas, para un aumento del 20,7 por ciento.

También dio a conocer que durante 2005 el valor total del sector de la minería en China llegó a la cantidad de 185 mil millones de dólares, en tanto que la producción total fue de unas siete mil millones de toneladas.

Explicó que gracias a este impresionante volumen, algunas producciones, como las de carbón, acero, cobre, aluminio y cemento, se situaron entre los primeros lugares del mundo.

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