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    Nonferrous metals industry to boost quality, efficiency

    China will control the expanding capacity of the nonferrous metals industry, with its annual growth rate of the top 10 metals reaching less than 8 percent over the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), said an industry official.

    Kang Yi, the former head of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, said the industry will also upgrade its structure and improve quality and effectiveness during the Five-Year Plan period.

    The combined output of 10 nonferrous metals, including copper, aluminum, lead and zinc, will be limited to 41 million tons, according to the association.

    "Three to five Chinese nonferrous metal companies will be listed among Fortune 500 companies, while more than 10 companies will have annual revenues exceeding 100 billion yuan ($15.30 billion)," he said.

    The association estimated that the demand for 10 nonferrous metals is likely to exceed 43.8 million tons by 2015.

    Kang said the industry will strictly control the new smelting capacity in regions that don't have resources and encourage electrolytic aluminum capacity transfers to western China.

    By 2015, China will have copper and aluminum producers with 200,000 tons of capacity, accounting for 90 percent of the country's copper output and 95 percent of its aluminum output.

    The industry also aims to conserve 8.95 million tons of standard coal and reduce CO2 emissions by 24 million tons by 2015, Kang said, adding that the industry will increase the proportion of recycled metals and develop the concentration of the industry.

    China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology - in collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Finance - announced a plan in February to nearly double the capacity of recycled metal production by 2015.

    Under the plan, the output of recycled copper, aluminum, and lead will reach 12 million tons in 2015, compared with 6.33 million tons in 2009.

    Zhejiang, Guangdong, Shandong and Jiangxi provinces and Tianjin Municipality will focus on the development of recycled copper; Chongqing, Shanghai and Hainan province will be given the priority to develop recycled aluminum; and Anhui, Jiangsu and Hubei provinces will concentrate on recycled lead.

    By the end of 2015, China is expected to set up companies capable of producing 100,000 tons each of recycled copper and aluminum annually, and 50,000 tons of recycled lead.

    China is currently at the development stage in its use of recycled metals. The industry lacks effective regulation and management and has low concentration.

    There are more than 300 producers of recycled lead across the country, which had an average capacity of 4,100 tons in 2009. Only two producers of recycled copper have annual production exceeding 100,000 tons, while the others produce about 30,000 tons a year.