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China Planner to Boost Mineral Exploitation

Rare earths, copper, chromium, tungsten, petroleum and natural gas are among the items on the National Development and Reform Commission menu

Workers extract copper at a factory in Shangrao in Jiangxi province. Photo: Reuters.


China plans to step up its exploitation of strategic mineral resources, the country’s top economic planner announced on Thursday.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said the policy – part of the nation’s 14th Five-Year Plan – would involve deeper exploration for rare earths, copper, chromium and tungsten, as well as petroleum and natural gas.

Agencies would pursue “high-quality development” in resource-rich regions, the planner said.

The NDRC said the country’s use of non-renewable resources would be “phased”, so China could “adjust and optimise its economic structure”.

The resources industry would be a “unified, open, competitive, and orderly system”, the agency added, calling for a “complete and well-governed, high-standard market”.

However, the NDRC said the government would have a strengthened guiding role and [would] “continue to optimise the business environment and actively create a good policy environment,” the statement said.

“By 2025, the ability to ensure resource and energy security in resource-rich regions will be greatly improved.”

The NDRC said China would enhance its scientific and technological innovation and draw on talent from the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area regions to boost capabilities.


• George Russell


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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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