China's demand for minerals, such as iron ore, aluminum, coal and copper, will continue to grow in the long run, though at a slower rate, on the back of domestic urbanization and industrialization, Liu Xiangmin, vice president of Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd., or Chalco, told delegates at the China Mining Congress and Expo 2016 in Tianjin, China, on Sept. 24.
"Demand and output of various metals and nonmetallic resources, including iron ore, steel, aluminum, copper and coal, will continue to grow at a stable rate [in China] in the following years," Liu said.
Liu added that the country is seeking to speed up its urbanization and industrialization initiatives over the next few years, which will support demand growth for the mining sector.
"Chinese producers' investments in overseas mining assets will also continue to increase, along with demand growth," he said.
While stressing a bullish view for the industry over the long term, Liu noted that the downturn in mining was unlikely to end soon. He called for domestic producers to exercise supply discipline.
"The global economic recovery is slower than many have anticipated. Despite the recent price rebound, prices of iron ore, copper, aluminum and coal are still at relatively low levels," Liu said.
"Chalco, as well as other Chinese mining majors, will continue to deepen supply-side reforms," Liu said, adding that the reforms would include the shutdown of inefficient production facilities and the upgrade of exploration and mining technology.
Liu said Chalco also plans to acquire more overseas assets, especially in countries covered by the One Belt, One Road initiative.
"We plan to increase investments in overseas markets and become more involved in the global M&A market," Liu said, noting that the company will continue to focus on aluminum, copper, rare earths and iron ore assets.