China will curb the expansion of smelters producing nonferrous metals including copper and aluminum in the five years through 2015 to reduce overcapacity and energy consumption.
The country’s annual aluminum output will be capped at 24 million metric tons by 2015 and copper production at 6.5 million tons, according to government plans posted on the website of China Nonferrous Metals News. Lead output will be capped at 5.5 million tons and zinc at 7.2 million tons.
China, the world’s biggest user of aluminum, copper and zinc, has stepped up efforts to slow metal production growth to curb surging raw-material prices, protect the environment and contain inflation. The government is also taking measures to conserve electricity after missing its energy-reduction target in the last five-year plan.
Aluminum production may rise 8.8 percent annually during the period, while copper output may gain 7.3 percent a year, according to the plans posted on the newspaper’s website.
By 2015, China will increase its bauxite capacity to produce a total of 8 million tons of alumina, a semi-finished product used to make aluminum, a year in Shanxi, Guizhou and Guangxi provinces and overseas.
The nation plans to add 1.3 million ton of copper concentrate capacity by 2015 by developing mines at home and abroad and acquiring overseas assets.
China will also increase its annual lead and zinc output capacity by 2.3 million tons each, while nickel concentrate capacity will rise by 60,000 tons a year.