Australian mining industry representatives are putting more emphasis on the Chinese market, the major world economic driver, as they attend the China Development Forum 2023 in Beijing from Saturday to Monday and meet industry partners.
On the sidelines of the forum on Sunday, Jakob Stausholm, CEO of Anglo-Australian mining group Rio Tinto, expressed high expectations for the Chinese market this year, while noting that China will once again become a major contributor to global economic growth.
China will be a leader in the development and application of new technologies that can help the world tackle the common challenge of climate change, he said.
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It wasn’t the first time that Stausholm highlighted the importance of the Chinese market during this visit.
While meeting with chairman of Sinomine Resource Group Yao Lin on Friday, Stausholm expressed his expectations for more comprehensive cooperation to take place in more fields.
Australian iron ore conglomerate BHP CEO Mike Henry also came to China, and he has highlighted closer partnerships with Chinese steel producers in various fields including low-carbon development and supply chain sustainability.
China has been Australia’s largest iron ore buyer, taking 70 percent of Australia’s total exports.
Australia is also China’s most important supplier. In 2022, China imported 1.107 billion tons of iron ore, and about 65 percent came from Australia, with producers such as Rio Tinto and BHP taking the major share.
Wang Guoqing, research director at Beijing Lange Steel Information Research Center, told the Global Times on Sunday that China has been the major supporter of the world iron ore market, thanks to its strong steel consumption driven by booming domestic industries such as infrastructure, cars and ships.
Potential overseas mining cooperation has also been a highlight.
Recently, a ceremony was held to mark the resumption of the Simandou mining project, the world’s largest undeveloped iron ore deposit, in Guinea, another example of the closer partnership between Chinese mining companies and Rio Tinto.
Lu Zhaoming, former deputy secretary-general of the China Iron and Steel Association, told the Global Times that China is Rio Tinto’s most important market and its role cannot be replaced.
China is also looking to gain more bargaining power on prices in the international iron ore market to secure its supply chain.
Source: Global Times