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China to Explore Private Funding Sources for Mining
China will readjust its fiscal policies and market mechanisms in an effort to channel private and overseas capital, techniques and talent into China's environmental protection and sustainable exploitation of natural resources.

China's Minister of Finance, Xiang Huaicheng, made the remarks at the Second Global Environment Facility Assembly which concluded on Friday.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the Chinese government intends to take pro-active measures to guide non-governmental capital into the commercial exploration of mineral resources and to encourage mining enterprises to raise funds through issuing stocks, bonds and also through project financing. It will also encourage the mining industry to utilize overseas venture capital and experiment with the venture investment market in China.

China will strengthen international cooperation and attract more foreign capital to devote to sustainable development, especially with regard to projects relating to the surveying and exploration of mineral resources that are abundant in the country. China will also strive to improve the operational efficiency of existing mines and to rehabilitate ecosystems in mining areas, the minister said.

Meanwhile, the government will further encourage Chinese mining enterprises to tap overseas markets, according to the finance ministry.

Over the past few years, China gradually opened its mining sector to non-governmental investment while simultaneously restructuring its state-owned mining enterprises and geological research institute.

China auctioned the mining rights to a gold mine for the first time in August 2002. To date, 21 provinces have leased portions of their mining rights, while 14 have sold the rights through public auction.

The country has already established a market mechanism for the use of land, mineral and marine resources so as to ensure more effective management and the sustainable development of the resources.

(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2002)

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