China to spend $4.48bn on domestic mining exploration
China is boosting domestic minerals exploration spending in an effort to reduce the country's dependence on imports of iron ore and copper.
Posted: Monday , 08 Nov 2010
RENO, NV -
China plans to spend 30 billion yuan (US$4.48bn) over the next five years to explore for minerals in 21 provinces to reduce its reliance on imported mineral products.
Wang Min, vice minister of China's Land and Resources Ministry, told official state news agency Xinhua "we believe China has great potential for mineral exploration."
Wan said the Chinese government wants to reduce its reliance on international iron ore markets
Five deposits in the provinces of Liaoning, Hebei, Henan, Shandong and Shanxi may hold up to 5 billion tonnes of iron ore. However, several of these deposits are of low-grade ore, requiring China to still import large quantities of higher-grade iron ore.
As much as 38.5 million tonnes of copper ore reserves were discovered in Tibet, Xinjiang and Yunnan last year.
Chen Renyi, director of the China Geological Survey's Department of Mineral Resources Assessment, said, imports of copper ore, iron ore and sylvite (potassium chloride), should account for respectively, less than 75%, 50% and 60% of minerals' consumption in China over the next five years.
Meanwhile, Xinhua also reported that China may also tighten environmental regulations on rare earth mining, which will increase production costs and may raise the cost of China's rare earth exports.
China now mines 97% of global rare earths.