China predicts 10 bln tonnes of iron ore reserves in Hebei Province

Exploration work in the eastern region of north China's Hebei Province shows potential iron ore reserves in this area is estimated to top 10 billion tonnes, the China Metallurgical Geology Bureau (CMGB) said Saturday.

A total of 3.44 billion tonnes of iron ore has been verified in five mines in the province, said Yan Xueyi, director with the CMGB.

The discovery of this deposit would largely ease the shortfall in China's domestic iron ore supplies and contribute to a sound and sustainable development of the country's steel industry, according to Yan.

China imported 443.56 million tonnes of iron ore in 2008, bringing the country's reliance on imported iron ore to around 50 percent.

The country's steel mills suffered an unfavorable position during the annual iron ore pricing talks as overseas miners alliedto ask for a higher price.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 26Dec09]

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