5 Feb 2010 08:04

Chonggang aims to reduce reliance on imported iron ore

Shanghai. February 5. INTERFAX-CHINA - State-owned Chongqing Iron and Steel Group (Chonggang) aims to source all iron ore for its steel production from its own iron ore mines by 2012, in order to reduce its dependence on imported iron ore, state media reported on Feb. 5.

According to a Chongqing Daily report, Chonggang Group currently owns five iron ore deposits, including the Taihe iron ore deposit in Sichuan Province and the Xiaojinhe iron ore deposit in Shaanxi Province. In addition, it controls the Wushan Taohua deposit, Qijiang Zhuangtang deposit and Banan Jielong deposit - all located in Chongqing Municipality. None of the iron ore desposits have started production.

Once these deposits begin operations, the iron ore output will be able to supply 50 percent of the 5 million tons of iron ore needed by Chonggang each year.

Meanwhile, Chonggang is in the process of acquiring the Extension Hill Magnetite project in Western Australia, which has iron ore resources of 1.78 billion tons. The Extension Hill Magnetite project is also expected to annually produce 10 million tons of iron ore by 2012, which will be used to supply Chonggang at that time, according to the report.

Chongqing Municipality-based Chonggang has an annual production capacity of 3 million tons of crude steel, and currently up to 80 percent of the iron ore needed for production is imported from Australia and Brazil.