China’s iron ore producers aim to increase domestic iron ore concentrate output by more than 100 million tonnes between 2021 and 2025, an official with the country’s steel industry association said.
Luo Tiejun, the vice-chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) said, “It is hoped that the majority of big iron ore enterprises will work together and strive to raise iron ore concentrate output by 100 million tonnes over the fourteenth five-year plan period”.
China’s massive steel sector has long been dependent on overseas iron ore suppliers. Environmental and safety concerns, as well as high costs and tax burdens, had held back domestic production.
The development of overseas iron ore resources should also be encouraged, including the giant Simandou mine in Guinea, he said. Luo said a fairer and more transparent iron ore pricing system still needed to be established.
China produced around 870 million tonnes of iron ore in 2020, but domestic output has a far lower iron content than overseas imports. It imported 649 million tonnes of iron ore in the first seven months of this year, down 1.5% compared to a year earlier, according to official data.