China to allow leading mining companies to access high quality, large mines: minister of natural resources
Published: Mar 12, 2023 06:29 PM

A rare-earth mine in Baoshan, Southwest China's Yunnan Province Photo:VCG

A rare-earth mine in Baoshan, Southwest China's Yunnan Province Photo:VCG

China will enhance mineral exploration, and allow leading mining companies to access high quality and large mines, Minister of Natural Resources Wang Guanghua said on Sunday during a media interview event.

Wang made the remarks at the "Ministers' Corridor," during which government ministers meet the press and take questions at China's "two sessions," the annual gathering of the National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

The ministry will launch a new campaign to explore for untapped minerals and strengthen domestic exploration so as to increase both reserves and production, said Wang.

Wang explained the move is due to fact that currently, some major minerals in China are highly dependent on foreign countries, and the demand for new energy and new materials for minerals is also growing rapidly. 

Therefore, China must take measures to strengthen the exploration of domestic minerals and increase reserves and production to ensure the security of both strategic industrial and supply chains, Wang noted. 

The Government Work Report delivered to the NPC also referenced the need to accelerate the modernization of the country's industrial system. The Work Report stated that the country should redouble efforts to explore and develop important energy and mineral resources, discover more reserves, and boost production. 

Wang said policymakers hope to work with industry to attract more capital to mineral exploration and ore prospecting.

The ministry will further remove restrictions on mineral type prospecting rights, and allow the circulation of prospecting rights, and this will attract more leading mining companies to invest in prospecting operations to uncover and develop high quality and large mines, Wang said.

In the past, when the mining rights were transferred, the transfer proceeds were collected in one single transaction. "We hope to collect mining rights transfer income according to actual sales linked to mine production on an annual basis, which will not only ensure that the rights and interests of national resource assets not be lost, but also greatly reduce the burden on enterprises," Wang said. 

Wang also said that China will further strengthen scientific and technological support for mineral exploration, promote the localization of high-precision exploration and development equipment, which can better support domestic prospecting.

China had discovered a total of 173 kinds of mineral resources as of the end of 2021, according to a report released by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

These mineral resources include 13 types of energy minerals, 59 kinds of metallic minerals, 95 kinds of nonmetallic minerals, and six kinds of water and gas.

Global Times