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clive palmer has more iron ore than china

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    China's iron ore reserves at 61b tonnes
    28/02/2008 08:08:22 AM

    China, the world's biggest steel producer and consumer, has 60.7 billion tonnes of proven iron ore reserves, the Xinhua news agency says.

    Unproven iron ore reserves were estimated at more than 100 billion tonnes, the news agency quoted Vice Minister of Land and Resources Wang Min as saying on Wednesday.

    China has discovered over the past two years 187 iron ore deposits which contain proven reserves of 3.2 billion tonnes, said Wang, who is also the head of China Geological Survey.

    Investment in iron ore exploration had increased to $US322 million ($A345 million)from 2004 to 2007 to meet the rising demand for iron ore, Wang said.

    The investment was more than five times higher than in the 15 years before 2003, he said. The country's demand for iron ore would remain high in the long term.

    China produced about 490 million tonnes of crude steel last year, 15.7 per cent higher than in 2006. The country imported 383 million tonnes of iron ore last year, up 17.4 per cent, Xinhua said, citing the China Iron and Steel Association.

    Meanwhile, China's recent snowstorms and power outages may reduce primary aluminium output by about 600,000 tonnes this year, equal to five per cent of the country's 2007 output, industry officials say.

    Reduced output in China, the world's top producer of aluminium, coupled with long-term power supply problems in Southern Africa, have driven world aluminium prices above $3,000 a tonne for the first time since May 2006, when prices hit a record of $3,310.

    But China may still produce 22 per cent more of the metal this year than in 2007, or about 15 million tonnes, from capacity of 18.5 million tonnes.

    "We estimate about 600,000 tonnes of production could be lost this year," said a trade manager at one large smelter.

    The manager had expected China's aluminium output to reach 15.5 million tonnes this year and has revised that to 14.9 million.

    China's worst winter weather in decades damaged power networks in late January and early February, adding to coal-related power shortages and forcing energy-guzzling aluminium smelters in the provinces of Guizhou, Guangxi, Hunan, Sichuan and Yunnan to halt or reduce production.

    Most smelters have resumed production and will be back at full operation in April.

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