Taiyuan seeks Australian iron, nickel investment

( China Daily )

Updated: 2009-09-04

Taiyuan Iron & Steel Group, China's biggest stainless-steel producer, is looking to invest in iron ore and nickel resources in Australia and other countries, Chairman Li Xiaobo said.

"We are chasing some iron ore projects as well as nickel," Li said in an interview in Shanghai, declining to give details. "So far we haven't settled on a good target."

Chinese companies, the biggest buyer of iron ore and nickel, are hunting for steelmaking raw materials as output of crude steel jumped to a record this year.

Baosteel Group Corp, the nation's largest mill, last month agreed to buy 15 percent of Aquila Resources Ltd, an Australian iron ore and coal company.

"We're seeking overseas development for low-cost and steady supplies," Chai Zhiyong, vice-president of Shanxi Taigang Stainless Steel Co, Taiyuan's listed unit, said. Chai and Li made the comments yesterday while attending a conference.

Taigang gained 8.28 percent to close at 8.11 yuan in Shenzhen yesterday.

Taigang, the stainless steel-producing unit of Taiyuan Group, may increase output by 34 percent to a record 2.4 million metric tons this year as the government's stimulus spending spurred demand and bolstered prices, Chai said on Wednesday.

Crude steel output in China jumped 13 percent in July to a record as the nation's $586 billion stimulus package increased demand from builders and carmakers

Bloomberg News

(China Daily 09/04/2009 page13)