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Chinese steelmaker aims to become less dependent on foreign ore

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SHIJIAZHUANG, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- A major Chinese steelmaker is aiming to get half its iron ore from its own mines in five years, a surge from below nine percent at present, said a senior executive of the company on Wednesday.

Hebei Iron and Steel Group (HBIS) plans to extract 35 million tonnes of iron ore concentrate in 2015, which will account for 50 percent of the steelmaker's raw materials, said Wang Hongren, chairman of HBIS Mining Company, a subsidiary of HBIS.

He said HBIS would also expand its iron ore reserves to eight billion tonnes by 2015, of which 7.2 billion tonnes would be in China and 800 million tonnes in foreign countries.

HBIS now has five billion tonnes of iron ore reserves, and 3.6 billion tonnes of them are in the eastern part of Hebei Province, including Sijiaying mine, Macheng mine and Changyu mine. The mine area would produce about 28.5 million tonnes of iron ore concentrate by 2015, Wang said.

"Increasing self-supply means a bigger say in price negotiations, thus reining in successive rounds of price spikes by foreign mining companies," Wang said.

HBIS is a Fortune 500 company, and it is headquartered in north China's Hebei Province.

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