China’s big metal deposits hurt by low grades-media
April 19, 2007 Filed Under: Bauxite Mining, Mining Services
China holds large reserves of metal deposits but the quality of most of the deposits is low, state media reported on Wednesday, citing preliminary survey results from the country’s geological institutes and resource agencies.
China plans to complete an assessment of the country’s mineral resources and set up a mining plan for some provinces in 2007, as part of a mining sector restructuring that will last through 2009, state media have reported.
China has 59 billion tonnes of iron ore deposits in mines with 33 billion tonnes of unexploited resources, the People’s Daily said on Wednesday, but most China-produced iron ore has only 30 to 35 percent iron content.
The low quality of domestic ore has forced China’s largest steel maker, Baosteel , to import all of its iron ore from Brazil and Australia, while other top steelmakers also rely heavily on imports.
Beijing is encouraging Chinese firms, especially steel mills, to develop domestic iron ore mines to supply their needs in a response to rising overseas ore prices.
China also has reserves of 85.31 million tonnes of copper in ore, the newspaper said. The country’s bauxite reserves totalled 2.66 billion tonnes, of which most is in the inland provinces of Shanxi, Guangxi, Henan and Guizhou.
More than 98 percent of Chinese bauxite deposits are of low quality and are difficult and costly to process.
China, the world’s largest metal consumer, has begun consolidating its mining sector into several national giants, which could supply more of the natural resources needed to fuel its economy’s 10 percent-plus annual growth.
Information from: Reuters via asia.news.yahoo.com