Widespread Chinese environmental inspections have caused
large-scale production shutdowns, but smoke-free skies may have
proved short lived, IM's field trips
Delegates from MagMin 2017, which took place in China for
the first time earlier this month, attended a field trip to
Dashiqiao in July to see firsthand the impact of the changes on
the magnesia-producing city.
"Look at the blue sky in Dashiqiao, " a government official
told IM, before asking him to take a photo.
"We never had this kind of blue sky before. Dashiqiao has over
600 magnesia companies and their contribution to local GDP is
more than 44%. It was grey and the air was full of dust; even
the green leaves were covered by dust."
"Now local residents are really happy and fully supportive
about the environmental checks after all production stopped.
This is not just about now, it’s also about our
children," the government official added.
| MagMin2017: Temporary
blue sky in Dashiqiao near a chemical company on 4 July
2017 source: Albert Li,
"When the environmental inspection team from the central
government arrived, they put posters in every village near the
factories, asking villagers to report pollution with a reward.
The village chiefs even asked them to do the same, even if
it’s just for reward," he
"In the past, local authorities may have turned a blind eye
to villager reports; they didn’t want to punish
the pollution because this would affect the local
government’s tax revenues," he said. "But now
since the central government has a team here, no one can stand
in between. This is why this time all production stopped and
why this is called the most serious environmental inspection
storm in China."
Post inspection turnaround?
However, when the central government's inspection team left,
the local government allowed the restart of some production
immediately, IM was told by local sources who
cited the governments heavy reliance on the tax revenues from
the magnesia industry as the reason.
During the MagMin field trips, most producers in Dashiqiao
were in production and dust and smoke was spreading once
"IM should take the smoking chimney picture as your
magazine’s cover to show readers how the
environmental inspection storm has changed the industry
– nothing seems to have changed," one delegate told
IM during the field trip.
MagMin2017: Smoke and dust could be seen
in Dashiqiao again on 12 July
source: Albert Li,
While brick companies may be forced to start using natural
gas instead of coal following the crackdown, many magnesia
companies are still using coal because fundamental technology
has not developed well enough, IM was
"New equipment is being used for desulfurition and
denitration. But the question is, when will the unified
standard come out, and when it comes, will there be another
large-scale production stop?"an official from the local
association commented to IM.
|Even the most advanced DBM kiln still uses
as a source material. source:
In the weeks since MagMin2017 Chinese prices, tracked by IM,
continued to rise with market participants reporting
ongoing tightness in supply.
To read more articles from Industrial Minerals' 2017 MagMin
China event see the links below:
MagMin 2017: Magnesite resource consolidation would be
'devastating' for industry
MagMin 2017: Magnesia vs Fluorspar
MagMin 2017: Dynamite ban uncertainty hurting Chinese magnesite
MagMin 2017: Magnesia supply shortage won't last long, China