China designates rare earth, iron mining areas

14:31, January 20, 2011      

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The Ministry of Land and Resources of China on Wednesday released a list of 11 state-designated areas for rare earth mining and two for iron mining. The purpose, according to the ministry, is to improve the protection and utilization of the country's strategic resources.

Those measures have come after years of planning. All of the 11 areas for rare earth mining are located in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province in China's southeast. The two iron areas are in Sichuan Province in China's southwest.

According to a report by the Beijing Times, a senior executive of Australian giant Rio Tinto's China operation said they have seen new opportunities in this policy, which has changed the distribution of resources by local government. Under the new policy, only companies authorized by the central government can conduct surveying and exploitation in those areas.

Lei Xiping, secretary-general of the Metallurgical Mines Association of China, told Beijing Times that the new policy reflects the great importance attached to strategic resources by the government with the intention of using the resources in a more efficient way.



By Li Jia, People’s Daily Online

(Editor:李佳)

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