China will promote Sino-foreign cooperation in the development of mineral resources and set up a reserve and supply system for mineral resources including petroleum in the coming five years.
China will make efforts to increase the utilization rate of mineral resources by five percentage points to protect national economic safety, said Tian Fengshan, minister of Land and Resources at a working conference of the ministry on Saturday, December 23.
About 90 percent of China’s primary energy, 80 percent of industrial raw materials, 30 percent of production and living water usage come from mineral resources. Demand for mineral resources will continue to increase for a long time in the future, said Tian.
However, the increase of mineral reserves can not keep up with the speed and growth of demand. It is estimated that among the 45 varieties of major minerals in China, only 24 will be able to meet demand in 2010, only six will be able to meet demand in 2020.
The shortage of petroleum, iron, copper, manganese and other minerals will continue in the 21 century. At the same time, China’s mineral exploitation technology is still not up to world standards and the phenomena of wasting resources is common in some regions, said Tian.
He said that to solve the shortage, China will depend on not only domestic but also overseas mineral resources. He added that a sustainable supply system of mineral resources should be established.
Exploitation of key minerals should be conducted according to plan, and mining of advantageous minerals should be strictly controlled and abuse of resources should be checked, Tian stressed.
He noted that China should open its mining industry more to foreign businesses and introduce foreign risk investment into the industry. Research about global information on key minerals should be strengthened and the exploitation of overseas mineral resources should be promoted.
A resources reserve system suitable to China should be set up to increase China’s ability to resist risking the world’s mineral supply due to the emergency events and turbulence in international situations, said Tian.
(People’s Daily 12/23/2000)