China Focus: BRI creates opportunities for global mining cooperation
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has created vast growth potential in the mining sector, with a range of joint projects and cooperation agreements realized over the past decade, according to experts and officials attending the 25th China Mining Conference and Exhibition in north China’s Tianjin Municipality.
Ye Jianliang, chief engineer of the China Geological Survey, said that China has continued to deepen cooperation with BRI countries and regions in recent years on mineral exploration, processing and trade, as well as on scientific research and personnel training. This cooperation has created productive opportunities for local economic growth.
Data from the green finance and development center at Fudan University shows that China’s outbound investment and new contracts in the metal and mining sectors exceeded 10 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of 2023, up 131 percent year on year. The whole-year total is expected to near 20 billion U.S. dollars.
Jin Zhifeng, president of the Minmetals Economic Research Institute under China Minmetals Corporation, said that BRI countries have become attractive investment destinations for Chinese companies. Incomplete statistics show that by 2022, major Chinese enterprises had invested in 140 new energy mineral resources projects overseas, with a cumulative investment of more than 100 billion U.S. dollars.
Zhang Rong, manager of the international business department of Shandong Zhangqiu Blower Co., Ltd, said that the company has exported over 150 slurry pumps to BRI countries since the beginning of this year. Sales in the Russian market alone have surpassed 10 million yuan.
Products like drilling tools and geophysical and analytical instruments from the China Geological Equipment Group Co., Ltd (CGEG). have also been welcomed by BRI countries.
“Our equipment has helped more than 20 BRI countries, including Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia, to find mineral resources and develop their local economies,” said CGEG general manager Liu Haitao.
With more and more Chinese mining projects going overseas, advanced equipment and technology have arrived in new locations, and the livelihoods of locals have been improved.
China Energy Investment Corporation has undertaken more than 10 overseas energy projects. Its spokesperson, Chen Jing, noted that the company’s project in South Africa provided more than 700 local jobs during its construction period, and more than 100 jobs per year during its operational period.
In Indonesia, the group has cooperated with an Indonesian university to build a simulator laboratory to help train local talent, and it invited more than 180 Indonesian staff to China for training and exchanges.
“To implement the BRI, we pay great attention to mutual understanding, respect and appreciation with local countries and communities when we carry out our overseas projects,” Chen said.
And such cooperation continues to expand.
Luo Rong, director-general of the Institute for International Economic Research under the National Development and Reform Commission, said that China has in the past decade strengthened frontier research on geological science and technology, established a multilateral, multinational and multi-field international cooperation network composed of more than 60 countries and regions, and carried out information exchanges, geological technology training, and research on big science programs. It has also promoted innovation in earth science and the healthy development of regional mining economies.
To promote the high-quality development of the BRI, mining cooperation will contribute a big share to the construction of a community with a shared future for humanity, Luo said.