BEIJING, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's imports and exports of mineral products accounted for nearly 35 percent of the country's total foreign trade, said Xu Shaoshi, minister of land and natural resources.
Although the development of the country's mineral industry remained generally good, supply and demand disparities still escalated, due to rapid urbanization and industrialization, Xu said at a meeting.
Currently, China relies on imports for 50 percent of its supplies of oil, gas, iron ore, copper, lead and zinc, Xu said, adding that the global demand for mineral products will soar in the long-run, despite current world economic turmoil.
During the past five years, China has intensified its efforts to consolidate its mining industry. The number of operating mines fell from 288,000 in 1994 to 113,000 last year, but the output rose to 9 billion tonnes in 2010 from 5.8 billion tonnes in 1999, Xu said.