China should ramp up strategic mineral mining exploration to secure its supply chain in “extreme situations”, said natural resources minister Wang Guanghua, as Beijing increases its push for national security and self-reliance.
“At the moment, the country has not invested enough in the exploration of strategic minerals, while there is a slow down in the amount of new available resources,” Wang Guanghua wrote in the Economic Daily on Wednesday. The ongoing “redistribution” and “fierce competition for dominance” in the global supply chain has made mineral exploration a key to security, he added.
“The exploration and mining of mineral resources and being at the top of the supply chain is the key to protecting our supply chain,” Wang said, adding there would be a fresh round of searches for new sources of minerals.
China’s National Mineral Resources Plan for 2016-20 China defines 24 minerals in three categories – energy, metals and non-metals- as strategic, including oil, natural gas, copper, lithium, rare earths and fluorite.