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China's CISA creates team to lobby Beijing to cut iron ore mining taxes

The China Iron & Steel Association has created a lobbying team to urge the government to relax taxes on Chinese iron ore mine operators, an official with the group said Wednesday.

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The team includes representatives from 20 major Chinese iron ore miners and steel mills including Anshan Iron & Steel, Baosteel, Wuhan Iron & Steel and Shougang Group, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

When the group first met April 24 in Beijing, members discussed the difficulties domestic iron ore miners have encountered and suggested possible plans for cutting taxes and setting up national iron ore reserves, the official said.

He said the team hopes to complete a proposal and reach an agreement with Chinese authorities by the end of the year.

Chinese iron ore miners on average face a 25% composite tax, or about Yuan 200/mt ($32/mt). Market sources said the tax rate has made it harder for them to compete in China's iron ore market against overseas miners.

Domestic iron ore miners expect an oversupply of iron ore to intensify in the second half of the year when global iron ore miners commission expansion projects and might get more aggressive in pricing, sources said.

China's iron ore miners have been individually lobbying the Chinese government for several years. CISA hopes the cooperation will make more progress.

China produced 1.45 billion mt of raw iron ore in 2013, or 30% of the Chinese steel industry's iron ore consumption.

--HongMei Li,
--Edited by Meghan Gordon,