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BEIJING – China plans to raise its equity output of iron-ore in overseas mines to 220-million tonnes by 2025, as well as increase domestic raw material supplies, State-backed China Metallurgical News said on Tuesday.

China aims to “fundamentally” solve the shortage issue in steelmaking ingredients in 10 year to 15 years, Luo Tiejun, the vice-chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association, was quoted as saying, citing what he called a “cornerstone plan”.
The plan, which the steel body said in January it had submitted to the state planner, industry ministry, natural resources ministry and environmental regulator, was designed to secure steel resources in the medium- to long-term.

It proposes raising China’s share of overseas iron ore production from 120-million tonnes in 2020 to 220-million tonnes by 2025, according to Luo. It aims to boost domestic iron-ore output by 100-million tonnes to 370-million tonnes and steel scrap consumption by 70-million tonnes to 300-million tonnes over the same period.

“The exploration of domestic iron-ore raised in the cornerstone plan not only involves resources but also competitiveness,”

said Luo, adding that some iron-ore concentrate costs in China had been kept under $60 per tonne.

“The key is to relax approval and obtain policy supports,” he said.

Spot prices of iron-ore with 62% iron content for delivery to China was at $139.5 per tonne on Monday, according to SteelHome consultancy. 

The steel association has suggested the plan to be implemented by steel giants such as Baowu Steel Group, Ansteel Group, Shougang Group, as well as internationalized metals group such as China Minmetals, said the China Metallurgical News.

China, the world’s top steel producer, consumes over a billion tonnes of iron-ore a year, with more than 80% coming from imports. It has been encouraging companies to invest in iron-ore mines at home and abroad to secure resources and gain pricing power.

The most-traded Dalian iron ore futures has gained 5% so far this year and stood at 730 yuan ($115.66) per tonne as of 03:30 GMT on Tuesday, after the state planner held meetings with market participants to urge them to avoid hoarding and speculation

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