| Source: Sohu.com/Xinlingzhizhou
Shanxi, a main refractory-mineral producing region in China,
announced new environmental measures to tackle the soil
pollution caused by mining and smelting activities on 4 May.
According to Shanxi provincial government, the measures will
strengthen the monitoring of soil pollution in the province as
part of the implementation of "Soil Prevention Action Plan" in
2017. Under the plan, new expansion in the non-ferrous smelting
industry around residential, school, medical and retirement
homes area will be strictly prohibited.
Furthermore, there will be strict assessments of the
environmental impact of industries that emit controlled
pollutants, which includes non-ferrous metal mining and
smelting, chemical, coking, electroplating, tannery,
pesticides, lead-acid batteries production etc. Applications
from the above industries will be required to elaborate on the
environmental impact on soil as well as proposed precautions
taken regarding pollution.
The move is part of Beijing’s ongoing efforts
to clean up the environment, and initial inspections have been
underway since July 2016.
China-based suppliers also told
IM this week of the wide-spread, "crazy"
shut down of existing facilities that have not meet the strict
environmental standards. According to the suppliers, the
authorities have started enforcing the draconian rules as early
According to one China-based supplier, all Chinese plants,
factories producing anything, including bauxite, magnesite,
brown fused alumina etc. have to implement immediately the
- All operations can only use gas or, and electricity for
energy supply. No coal or coke is allowed.
- Plants have to install an approved external on-line
monitoring systematic dust control system,
- Companies must install an approved external on-line
monitoring system for flue gas de-sulphurisation in the
"If not all 3 above [steps are taken], they [will be] closed
until they do. This time, it’s not a joke, the
government is really doing it," he added.
This latest round of anti-pollution checks was expected to
cut bauxite production dramatically, which will severely impact
supply to refractories producers globally. Bauxite prices in China were
this week impacted by the news.
Shanxi accounts for up to 90% of global refractory minerals
supply, supplying the majority of calcined bauxite in the
world, according to one major Chinese supplier.
While there is no official export data, one Europe-based
distributor claimed China exports up to one million tonnes of
bauxite in 2016, with shipments to Europe, Turkey and North
Africa accounting for half the volume. While another
Europe-based trader estimate Europe imports about 350,000
tonnes of bauxite from China.