China aims for iron ore output boost of 100 million tonnes by 2025

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), told a meeting in the steel heartland of Hebei province that government departments are examining ways to support domestic iron ore production.

“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,” he said, referring to 2021-2025. Iron ore futures plunged further on lacklustre demand outlook.

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. The China Aluminum Corporation is a joint owner of the mine along with Rio Tinto. 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.

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