SHANGHAI Jul. 25 (CBI China)--Last week, CBI's survey of 100 domestic lead and zinc mine operators revealed the following insights.
In general, mine operators were not financially healthily. Of the 100 mine operators, approximately 40% had stopped production due to soaring mining costs from extracting low-grade lead and zinc ores, as well as their increasing financial exposure. On the other hand, profit margins at large mines with ample reserves were still running normally, but were reporting slow sales due to weakening lead and zinc prices in 2008.
There are abundant ore resources in north, south, and east China. Overall operating rates were normal, as only a limited number of small-scale mines are located there. Of these, mines in Hebei province were running at low levels due to restrictions for the upcoming Olympics, meanwhile deliveries of goods were also delayed by the strict traffic regulations in preparation for the Olympics.
Mine operators in east China reported mixed operating rates. Mines in Anhui and Zhejiang provinces were operating normally, but those in Jiangsu province halted production.
Mine operators in northwest China damaged by Sichuan earthquake remained offline. Most mines in the local area were underground mines, and serious structural damage has not yet been fully inspected by government agencies, so any timetable for return to normal operations is unknown.