There were 158 minerals with identified resources and reserves in China in 2004, including 10 energy minerals, 54 metallic minerals and 91 nonmetallic minerals. The rest were mineral water, groundwater and carbon dioxide gas.
Through land resources investigation and mineral exploration 205 large and medium-sized mineral occurrences or prospects were discovered, including 24 energy mineral occurrences or prospects, 5 ferrous metal ones, 47 nonferrous metal ones, 14 precious metal ones, 1 metallurgy auxiliary raw material one, 8 nonmetallic mineral ones for chemical industry and 104 nonmetallic mineral ones for construction and other purposes. The rest were mineral water, groundwater and carbon dioxide ones. Identified resources and reserves of 56 minerals were increased, including 1.098 billion tons of oil, 380.2 billion cubic meters of gas and 9.654 billion tons of coal.
China¡¯s production of major mineral commodities increased rapidly in 2004, including 1.956 billion tons of coal, 175 million tons of crude oil, 40.77 billion cubic meters of gas and 310 million tons of iron ore. The production of 10 nonferrous metals exceeded 14.3 million tons. Significant progress was made in exploitation and utilization of mineral resources in the western region. The main gas source for diverting gas from the west to the east ¡ª¡ªChina¡¯s biggest gas field Kela-2¡ª¡ªwas put into operation. A number of large metallic mines such as the Ashele copper deposit in Xinjiang and Dur¡¯ngoi copper deposit in Qinghai had been put into operation or were under construction.
China¡¯s total import and export volume of primary products and relevant energy raw materials exceeded 240.0 billion yuan (~US$ 29.0 billion). In 2004 China¡¯s import volume of main mineral commodities increased considerably, including 122.72 million tons of crude oil, an increase of 34.7£¥ over the previous year; 207.99 million tons of iron ore, an increase of 40.4% over the previous year; 4.65 million tons of manganese ore, an increase of 62.6% over the previous year; 2.17 million tons of chromite, an increase of 21.9% over the previous year; 2.88 million tons of copper ore, an increase of 7.9% over the previous year; and 7.43 million tons of potash fertilizer, an increase of 13.1% over the previous year.
Further progress was made in the registration of exploration and mining rights and the market construction. In 2004 a total of 12,793 exploration licenses (including 323 exploration licenses for oil and gas) and 42,589 mining licenses (including 38 mining licenses for oil and gas) were approved and issued, of which 141 exploration licenses and 71 mining licenses of foreign-funded and Hongkong, Macao and Taiwan funded were newly issued in 2004.
The system of compensated use of mineral resources was further promoted. The management of mineral rights was further standardized, and the collected mineral resources compensation fees exceeded 3 billion yuan (~US$ 362.450 million) for the first time. A total of 22 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government) implemented exploration right granting by public bidding, auctioning and listing; and 614 exploration rights were granted, gaining 702 million yuan (~US$ 84.813 million). 28 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government) implemented mining right granting by public bidding, auctioning and listing; and 13,390 mining rights were granted, gaining 4.299 billion yuan (~US$ 519.391 million).
The first batch of 19 national planned coal mining districts was set up. The total amount of leading mineral products such as that of tungsten products was brought under control constantly. Supervision of mineral resources on law was further strengthened. A total of 15,514 cases were investigated and adjudged, and 14,694 cases were settled. 6 exploration licenses and 441 mining licenses were withdrawn, with 222 million yuan (~US$ 26.821 million) of penalty confiscated.