What will become China’s largest iron ore mine is expected to gain final regulatory approval later this month.

The mine is expected to produce annually 22Mt of iron ore and 7.5Mt of iron concentrates; The designed length of service is about 40 years.

The RMB 10bn ($1.52bn) project now enters the stage of National Development and Reform Commission’s examination and will probably gain approval, according to the Taiyuan Steel Group. Taiyuan is the largest steelworks in Shanxi Province. It is said that the project might break ground in H1 2011 and may yield its first iron ore within a year. The whole project will reach designed capacity in three years.

Plans were started in 2008 but were delayed due to relocation problems of residents on the site. This problem has now been solved so NDRC’s approval should come soon.

The mine is expected to produce about 5Mt of iron concentrate in 2012, while Taiyuan Steel’s iron concentrate output in 2009 was only 5.3Mt.

Taiyuan Steel plans to use all the iron concentrate produced by the mine into its subsidiary Taiyuan Stainless Steel Co, Ltd, the largest single mill producing stainless steel in the world.

Source: China Metals e-mail chinametal@xinhua.org