China’s plan to end its Australian iron ore dependency – by Michael Smith (Australian Financial Review – December 2, 2021)

Tokyo | China will boost domestic iron ore production by 30 per cent, significantly ramp up investments in overseas mines and strengthen scrap steel recycling under a plan designed to break Beijing’s dependency on Australia’s most valuable commodity export.

China’s top steel industry executives and senior government officials outlined a strategy for achieving the five-year targets in an article published this week, which highlights the Chinese government’s frustration with volatile iron ore prices and its desire to follow Japan’s lead by investing heavily in offshore mines.

The article published in the state-backed Economic Daily singled out Australia and Brazil for dominating China’s imports of the steel-making ingredient.

“The control of overseas iron ore resources is obviously insufficient, and more than 80 per cent of the import volume comes from Australia and Brazil. The risks to resource security are prominent,” said Chen Ziqi, a senior executive at China International Engineering Consulting Corp, a major adviser to the Chinese government on investment and construction.

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