Northwest China's Gansu Province has further boosted its reputation as the nation's major nonferrous metals production centre, the People's Daily reported yesterday.
Between 1986 and last year, the paper said, the Chinese government had invested nearly 1.9 billion yuan in developing the province's nonferrous metals resources, and 680 million yuan in updating its production equipment.
The two sums of money represented increases of 187 per cent and 183 per cent, respectively, compared with the 1981~1985 period, the paper said.
The bulk of the money was being spent on developing the resources of nickel, cobalt and the rare metals in the platinum family including palladium, osmium, iridium, ruthenium and rhodium.
After five years of development, the report said, the province was now able to produce 10 kinds of nonferrous metals. The area's annual output of nonferrous metals rose to 250 000 tons last year from 180 000 tons in 1985.
Gansu also earned more profits than any other province in this sector, the paper said. Last year, it earned 648 million yuan in pre-tax profits.
When the work to expand the Jinchuan Nonferrous Metals Corporation was completed in the near future, it said, the province was expected to be able to produce 40 000 tons of nickelt, 2000 tons of copper and 400 000 tons of sulphuric acid a year. These figures would be double the present output.
Since the mineral ores treated in jinchuan also contained cobalt, gold, silver and platinum, the paper said, the output of these metals was also expected to increase.
The first phase of the expansion project was completed in 1987 at a total cost of 780 million yuan .
As a result of such work, the paper said, nickel production had increased from 10 000 tons to 20 000 tons, making up 85 per cent of the country's total output.
The province's production of other nonferrous metals had also risen sharply, it said, adding that its cobalt production so far accounted for one-third of China's total output.