China's Sichuan province sets 2016-2020 growth targets for rare earths, titanium

By Albert Li
Published: Friday, 24 November 2017

The government of China’s Sichuan province has set a growth target of 8% per year for the 2016-2020 period for adding value to industrial commodities, with the local production value of steel, vanadium, titanium and rare earths set to reach 500 billion yuan.

The focus of the state’s development guide for vanadium, titanium and rare earth industries is on rare metals and further processing.

It envisages the lifting of ilmenite capacity to 6 million tonnes per year, capacity of vanadium products (V2O5 equivalent) to 70,000 tpy, titanium dioxide to 1 million tpy, titanium sponge to 60,000 tpy, titanium ingot to 60,000 tpy, titanium material to 15,000 tpy, crude steel within 32 million tpy, rare earth mining capacity to around 50,000 tpy and rare earth smelting and separation to around 45,000 tpy.

To make the most of rich local mineral resources, Sichuan plans to increase the utilization rate at iron ores producers to 75%, vanadium to 60%, titanium to 30%, the rare earth mining recovery rate to 80%, the rare earth separation recovery rate to 94% and the tailings recovery rate at vanadium-titanium-iron mines to 30%.

The priorities will be high-end products such as manufacturing components using vanadium and titanium alloy, titanium sponge and rare earths.

The government will provide support to leading vanadium-titanium producers such as Pangang Titanium Industry Co and Pangang Vanadium Industry Co and rare earth companies such as Sichuan Rare Earth Industrial Group, Shenghe Holdings and Sichuan Jiangxi Copper Rare Earth Group.

Sichuan authorities will encourage technical advancement in production techniques for titanium dioxide such as the chloride process used predominantly by overseas companies as well as the optimization of the sulphate process, especially the solid waste utilization technique in TiO2 production.

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