SHANGHAI, May 10 (SMM) – Capacity utilisation rates of domestic mines stood at 57% on average in April 2022, up 0.2 percentage point from March. Concentrates output stood at 20.77 million mt in April, a decrease of 600,000 mt from March. The output of state-owned mines was 10.92 million mt, down 2.4% while that of private mines stood at 9.85 million mt, down 3.3%.
In April, the capacity utilisation rates of domestic mines increased slightly, mainly due to the resumption of production and increase in production in areas less affected by the pandemic, such as Shanxi, Shandong, Jiangxi, Fujian, south-west and south China. In addition, due to the warmer weather in north-west China such as Xinjiang and Gansu, producers gradually resumed their production, hence the output increased. However, in some areas, the capacity utilisation rates declined. On one hand, the pandemic hindered the transportation of ROM and production equipment, such as in Tangshan and Jilin. On the other hand, the environmental protection inspections cast a certain influence on the production of some mines, such as mines in Zhangjiakou, Chengde, Inner Mongolia and Jiangsu.
According to SMM research, with the improvement of the pandemic in China, some mines have resumed the production. Besides, some mines in north-west China are going to resume their production. Therefore, the capacity utilisation rates will continue to rise in May. However, due to the impact of environmental protection inspections and mine accidents, the capacity utilisation rates in some areas, such as Anhui and Sichuan, will drop.
In April, the Industry Department of the National Development and Reform Commission organised a meeting on iron ore project promotion attended by seven departments including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the State Administration of Mine Safety Supervision, and the State Administration of Taxation, China Iron and Steel Association and China Metallurgical and Mining Enterprises Association. The meeting focused on the current situation of mine development and problems in China and corresponding measures to be taken in the future. According to SMM research, the progress of mine environmental assessment and approval has indeed been accelerated. However, the pandemic postponed the production resumption of some mines for 1-2 months, mainly because the transportation of equipment for production was hindered, and the inspection and acceptance of the government was also delayed.