Chinese graphite-producing provinces Heilongjiang
and Shandong have released statements indicating that their
efforts to clean up the graphite industry in the country have
The environmental protection bureau in Jixi city,
Heilongjiang and Pingdu city, Shangdong, both said that they
have changed attitudes in their areas, since they began to
crack down on pollutant companies last year.
Officers from Pingdu claim that the action
implemented by them last year has been completed.
Pingdu is China’s oldest flake
graphite producing region and has a capacity of 100,000tpa. The
area is second only to Heilongjiang province in terms of
Chinese production power, which has a capacity of 280,000tpa
and produced 120,000 to 140,000tpa in 2013.
Up to 55 miners and processors of graphite in the
town of Pingdu, located in the east-coast province of Shandong,
were ordered by the local government last December to stop
production after failing to improve wastewater, dust and gas
Of the 74 graphite companies that were inspected
following the clampdown, 59 have passed the examination set by
the environmental protection bureau.
The remaining 15 includes eight companies deemed
too heavily polluting to continue operating, while another
seven are expected to be shut down after submission to the
Industry violations included the illegal
discharging of waste water during the inspection period.
Pollution is still an issue in Shandong,
as this image of Zibo shows, but graphite companies
have cleaned up their act, the environmental protection
Marc van der Chijs via Flickr
Environmental officers in Jixi meanwhile claim to
have achieved "double level-ups of environmental protection and
production capacity" in the 19 companies it assessed in the
Hengshan and Mashan districts.
"We used to be afraid of the bureau coming here,
now we welcome them there," the Jinyu Graphite Company of
Mashan district, said in a statement.
"[The environmental protection bureau] helps us
by finding and fixing problems of pollution and waste. We are
now fully supported in policy, technology and fund aspects when
cooperating with the government."
"We have a big warehouse and when we moved source
material, nearly two tonnes of graphite dust fell off every
day, we used to leave it (...) but now we have modern dust
collecting equipment, and at least one tonne of high quality
graphite is recycled from the falling dust each day."
Similar dust-collecting equipment is being used
by other companies in Jixi, which the agency says is why the
nearby hills are now green and not covered in a thick dust.
Graphite News Review
Hegang City builds graphite industrial
The city of Hegang, located in Heilongjiang
province, the leading graphite producing region in China, has
built a graphite industrial park.
Local government officials have been trying to
draw in large companies for investment into the city, and thus
far, China Railway Resource Co. Ltd and BTR New Energy
Materials Co. have opened facilities in the park.
Prospective entrants must have a project with a
fixed asset investment of over Chinese reminbi (Rmb) 100m
China Railway Resource told local reporters that
it hopes its project will begin construction next year.
Battery materials producer Shanghai Shanshan Tech
Co. Ltd met with government , telling the local media that it
hopes Hegang, to which it ascribed a "resource advantage", will
work together with Shanshan Tech.
Two graphite companies
The Heilongjiang Provincial Safety Commission has
listed 11 companies that have "serious potential safety
hazards", including two graphite companies, which have been
Inspections at Jixi City Longsheng Graphite Co.,
based in the Mashan district Graphite Industrial Park, revealed
that the company’s tailing pond did not comply
with safety specifications. Two sedimentation ponds were also
too close to the tailing pond.
The company has been told that it must rectify
the problem as soon as possible, and was forced to evacuate
personnel from its
tailing pond and cease its use until it is
Elsewhere, Luobei County Yunshan Graphite Mining
Co. was found through investigation to have carried out
explosions that had not been properly approved. The company was
required to stop its blasting programme, and was fined
Nuclear graphite discussions
The 15th International Nuclear
Graphite Specialists Meeting was held in Hanzhou city of
Zhejiang province in November. Around 120 specialists from
around the world met to discuss, among other things, the
Chinese nuclear industry.
Approximately 29 nuclear power generation systems
are currently under construction.
Sinosteel Shanghai Advanced Graphite Material Co.
Ltd has been trying to break into the industry, and has
invested into research on isostatic methods of pressing
graphite. This is a long term plan; the company has seen
some production of pressed graphite since February 2012.
High temperature gas-cooled reactors require high
purity nuclear grade graphite moderators, and
Sinosteel’s material has passed the static state
physics and specification tests for this. It is now undergoing
testing regarding its irradiation properties.
Industry event attendees told "China
should protect flake graphite"
While the graphite industry in China is large
— the country is the largest producer in the world
— the disordered and scattered existence of over 1,000
mining companies has resulted in heavy pollution and high
energy consumption, in addition to low resource utilisation and
Mingke Fu of the Chinese Mining Association told
reporters at an industry event that he believes there is a
chance for the industry to shift to reducing costs, while
protecting graphite — particularly flake, rather than
amorphous grades — and improving processing by
Industry observers have suggested that China
should set a distinction between flake and amorphous graphite,
with flake being regarded as a strategic mineral, rather than a
third category mineral.
The Chinese Ministry of Finance should increase
funding for strategic mineral research, delegates were told.
Export volume protections on large flake graphite were
suggested, though the difficulty of restrictions complying with
World Trade Organization (WTO) rules were noted.
A strategic mineral classification would result
in a national development strategy for the development of the
flake graphite industry in the country.
Mingke also suggested to attendees that the
Chinese Ministry of Finance should remove the tax refund on
spherical graphite exports.
*Conversion made November