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Trade - Editor, 22 October 2007

Mineral Home of China Business (Part 1)



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Critics of China business would love to travel in Gansu’s countryside, though their glee may be short-lived! Though this region has no dearth of rapidly growing urban centers, the agrarian landscape is not unlike that of its somnolent neighbor, Mongolia. However, literally and figuratively below the surface of Gansu lies untold wealth, and it is firmly poised to become the mineral supplier of choice for the whole world.

China business is often castigated for its urban bias and neglect of rural communities, and Gansu, which is one of the most arid places on earth with living communities, seems to lend credence to the view that the country’s development is skewed. The government has in reality, done a sterling job of infrastructure development for this region. Though the region is just north of the mighty Yangtze, inland water bodies in this part of China are not broad and deep enough for navigation. However, the administration has more than made up for this by putting Gansu squarely on national rail and highway networks, with excellent air connections as well. Minerals cannot be transported by air, but the surface links are more than adequate for rapid bulk movement to international ports. Gansu is also well positioned for the establishment of local industries based on its mineral wealth. Overall, there are pointers that the historic neglect of Gansu by foreign investors is poised for an end.

Gansu tops the country’s known reserves of nickel, cobalt, platinum, and selenium. It also has abundant lead, zinc, copper, and aluminum. This region also has the largest Cu-Ni sulfide deposits in China.This wide buffet of strategic metals forms an invaluable industrial treasure with innumerable domestic and export potentials for China business. It also offers considerable future potential for the local population which has traditionally been focused on agriculture alone.

China has lagged behind the west in exploiting its indigenous mineral resources. This has received the attention of western technologists well before the advent of communism. Whatever efforts have been made, have been done without cutting-edge technologies necessary for productive working of deposits far below the surface of the earth. There is enormous scope to modernize mining operations in Gansu, and to continue fresh prospecting work as well.

China now consciously encourages foreign and private capital in the mining sector, allowing fully owned foreign exploration bids, with 20 year licenses, renewable for 10 years at a time. Mining in Gansu is a star of new China business possibilities!

Mineral Home of China Business (Part 2)

Trade

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