China To Set Up Strategic Key Mineral Reserves

China plans to set up strategic reserves of uranium, coal, iron, copper, aluminum and other key mineral resources over the next five years, according to a May 10 report by the Ministry of Land and Resources. The plan falls in line with efforts to build strategic oil and gas reserves that are already in progress, the Ministry of Land and Resources said.

The energy and mineral resource reserves will be designed to adjust market supply and meet the nation's fast-growing demand.

China will expand exploration of uranium resources in northern and southern mining regions in order to increase its uranium reserves. China also has ambitious plans to expand its nuclear energy program. It currently has 11 nuclear reactors in operation and has previously announced plans to build dozens more.

The country will further accelerate the construction of petroleum reserves during the 2006-2010 period, according to the report.

Increased exploration for oil and natural gas in East China Sea, the Yellow Sea and the northern part of the South China Sea will be stepped up as part of the effort, the ministry said. The government is aiming for an increase in discoverable reserves of between 4.5 and 5.0 billion tons of oil and 2.0-2.25 trillion cubic meters (7.8-7.8 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas by 2010.

It is also targeting an increase of five billion tons of iron ore, 20 million tons of copper, 100 billion tons of coal and 200 million tons of bauxite in discoverable reserves by 2010.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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