Home / Government / Central Government News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Search for iron ore accelerates
Adjust font size:

The search for domestic reserves of iron ore will be accelerated in the wake of soaring global prices, a senior official said yesterday.

"We will launch a new round of our nationwide iron ore survey, focusing on the vast central and western areas of the country in a bid to boost supplies," Wang Min, vice-minister of land and resources, said at a meeting yesterday in Tianjin.

The meeting, to discuss the direction of iron ore surveys, was held following the announcement of substantial increases in the cost of imports of the commodity into the country.

As the world's largest steel-maker, China is also its leading consumer of iron ore, a major constituent of steel.

Wang said that in the 1990s, geological prospecting teams almost stopped looking for new mines, as known reserves were "sufficient to last 300 years, based on demand levels at that time".

"But the forecasts did not account for the country's rapid economic growth, and now our supplies are dwindling," Wang said.

He said that while the country has abundant reserves of iron - with about 60 billion tons already discovered and 100 billion tons predicted to be found - high-grade ore was still relatively scarce.

According to the China Iron and Steel Association, the global sea-borne trade in iron ore was 805 million tons last year, of which 383 million tons were shipped to China, up 17 percent on 2006.

But with global giants, such as Australia's BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, and Brazil's Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD), controlling 72 percent of the world iron ore trade, China's steel industry has come under enormous pressure on prices.

CVRD and Baosteel Group, China's largest steel-maker and the country's representative in negotiations with the iron ore giants, on Friday agreed to price increases of between 65 and 71 percent.

Price hikes aside, demand for iron ore by steel-makers is set to grow by 26 percent a year until 2010, Wang Jionghui, an official with China Minmetals Corp, the largest Chinese metals and minerals producer, said.

Chinese firms must adopt new models for obtaining resources, including becoming shareholders of global minerals giants, he said.

Increases in the cost of iron ore have had a predictable effect on steel prices. The China Securities Journal reported on Monday that 57 domestic steel plants had raised their prices after the price agreement was reached.

(China Daily February 28, 2008)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Iron ore price rise could force China steel rationalization
- Iron ore costs may increase by 65%
Most Viewed >>
- Medicare scheme to go nationwide
- Doctors from Taiwan allowed to work in mainland
- Sex photos a hot buy in Guangzhou
- CPC leadership convenes to discuss gov't reshuffles
- China probes foreign investment in real estate
- Organic Law of the National People's Congress of the PRC
- 21 medical firms banned from doing business in Beijing
- Green efforts highlighted in Guangdong
- Organic Law of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
- Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China
Questions and Answers More
Q: What kind of law is there in place to protect pandas?
A: In order to put the protection of giant pandas and other wildlife under the law, the Chinese government put the protection of rare animals and plants into the Constitution.
Useful Info
- Who's Who in China's Leadership
- State Structure
- China's Political System
- China's Legislative System
- China's Judicial System
- Mapping out 11th Five-Year Guidelines
- Chinese Embassies
- International Department, Central Committee of CPC
- State Organs Work Committee of CPC
- United Front Work Department, Central Committee of CPC