Given the country’s current alumina capacity of over 40Mt, these reserves may be only able to support production for six-seven years if capacity runs at 100% rate.

However, the MLR’s latest mineral prospecting work has found resources of nearly 142Mt. According to the MLR, as of the end of 2009, China’s bauxite reserve base was about 839Mt, up 14.16% from the end of 2008, with proven resources at about 32bnt, up 5.65%.

Most of the newly founded resources are in the provinces of Guangxi, Henan, Yunnan and Chongqing.

In 2009, there were 432 bauxite deposits around the country, 22 more than in 2008. Of the deposits, some 72% were located in Guizhou, Henan, Guangxi and Shanxi, where bauxite reserves, reserve base and proven resources accounted for 90.5%, 90.9% and 89.69%, respectively of the national total.

Source China Metals email chinametal@xinhua.org