China considers making mining rules closer to int'l standards

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China is considering changes to its mineral deposit classification and reporting rules to bring them in line with international standards and open up its mining sector, government officials have said.

Mining is an important sector for China's opening up, said Yu Haifeng, an official in charge of mineral reserves with the Ministry of Land and Resources at the China Mining Congress and Expo held in the northern port city of Tianjin.

Compared with the standards of CRIRSCO (Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards), China's classification for solid mineral resources is suitable for government oversight, but has not allowed financial capital markets to be fully utilized, said Li Jian, another official with the ministry.

Differences in classification and reporting standards have led to higher costs for China's mining firms in international cooperation, said Wang Jionghui, general manager assistant of China Minmetals Corporation.

Modifying its system to be closer to the CRIRSCO standard system will enhance China's influence in the international mining market and help China build a highly efficient and sustainable mining market, said Wang at the expo.

Formed in 1994, CRIRSCO is a grouping of representatives of organizations responsible for developing mineral reporting codes and guidelines in Australasia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Europe, Mongolia, Russia, South Africa and the United States, according to its official website. The combined value of mining companies listed on stock exchanges in those countries and regions accounts for more than 80 percent of the listed capital of the mining industry.

China Mining Congress and Expo, which runs from Thursday to Sunday, is one of the largest mineral exploration and mining trading platforms. It plays an important role in communication and cooperation for mining communities globally.

China has become the world's largest producer, consumer and trading nation of mineral commodities.

Over the past five years, China's total production of primary energy hit 11.7 billion tonnes of standard coal and its total output of iron ore reached 6.8 billion tonnes, Minister of Land and Resources Jiang Daming told the congress.

During the same period, China's total trade volume of mineral products was close to 5 trillion U.S. dollars, an increase of 81 percent, said Jiang at the opening ceremony of the congress on Friday.

China has invested 568 billion yuan (85 billion U.S. dollars) in geological exploration over the past five years and discovered more than 730 large and medium-sized mineral deposits, Jiang said.

As China's economy enters a new normal, the country's mining sector should seek new momentum through structural reforms, he added.

The minister said China will gradually open up the exploration and development market in oil, gas and new energy and improve government supervision in the sector.

All countries should strengthen exchanges in policy, technical standards and codes in the mining field to facilitate investment, he said.

Booming global industrial cooperation and technological innovation have brought new opportunities to the mining industry, Jiang said.

China has made continuous efforts in a bid to bring its system in line with international mining reporting systems. In 2015, China launched a program to establish technical standard systems for mineral reserves.

CRIRSCO representatives said China has been proactive in bringing its standards in line with the organization and they appreciate what China has done in this regard.

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