Thoughts on the development of tin mining industry in China

Abstract: Tin resource in China is characterized by intensive distribution and abundant associated ores; during the tin resource exploitation, there are lots of problems, such as low collective degrees, small scale, laggard technique, irrational industrial structure and low technological products. Of Tin industry in China depends on the joint efforts of government and enterprises, directed by macroscopical control and policy, following the market demand, ultimately realizes sustainable and sound development via technological innovation.

Tin metal is one of the earliest human use and familiar, since tin metal has a soft, ductile, low melting point, easy smelting, non-toxic, inert chemical nature, making tin become a modern society in important metal minerals It has a broad consumption base in the national economy and the national defense economy. In recent years, with the global awareness of environmental protection and the rapid development of microelectronics and chemical industries, as an internationally recognized “green metal”, the market prospect of tin is even broader. China is the country with the largest tin reserves in the world and the largest country in tin production, playing a pivotal role in the world tin market. According to the data, in 2002, the reserves and reserves of tin in China were 1.7 million tons and 3.5 million tons respectively, accounting for 27.9% and 31.8% of the world's reserves. In 2001, China's mine tin production was 78,800 tons, and refined tin production was 91,600 tons, accounting for 33.9% and 35.6% of the world's total output, respectively, ranking first in the world. Although tin is China's dominant metal mineral, the sluggishness of the world economy and the fluctuation of the tin market in recent years have brought huge impacts on many domestic tin mining enterprises. The output and profits of enterprises continue to decline, such as the leading enterprises in domestic tin mines. —In 2004, Yunxi’s main business profit fell by 50% and suffered losses for the first time. The development of China’s tin mining industry is facing a severe situation. Under such circumstances, how to better utilize the resource advantages of China's tin mines and further transform them into industrial and industrial advantages, so that our enterprises can more cope with the fluctuations and competition of the international market, and ultimately promote the tin mining industry. Sustainable and healthy development has become an important issue that China's tin mining industry must face. This paper summarizes and analyzes the development status of China's tin mining industry in recent years, and discusses the sustainable development of tin mining.

I. Distribution characteristics of tin resources in China

(1) Concentration of resources

China's tin mine resources are abundant, distributed in 15 provinces (regions) across the country, but mainly concentrated in Yunnan, Guangxi, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Inner Mongolia and Hunan provinces. The reserves of these six provinces (regions) account for the national reserves. 98%. Yunnan Gejiu and Guangxi Dachang are the two largest tin mines in China. The reserves of the two places account for more than 60% of the national tin mine reserves, and their production has a direct impact on the world tin market. Dachang tin mine stopped production and rectification after the "717" permeable event in 2001, which caused the production of tin mines in China to drop sharply from 119,400 tons in 2000 to 91,600 tons. The price of the world tin market also began to rebound. The absolute concentration of resources has advantages and disadvantages. First, it is conducive to the overall planning of the rational exploitation and utilization of mineral resources, which is conducive to the state's management of mineral resources, is conducive to the integration of mineral resources and enterprise resources, and is conducive to the promotion of the international market of tin mining enterprises. Competitiveness will make the company bigger and stronger, but at the same time, the “four mines” problem arising from the mining areas with high concentration of tin resources will be more prominent.

(2) There are many primary minerals, few sand and tin mines, and a total of associated components.

Among the tin resources in China, the original tin mine accounts for 90% of the total reserves, while the sand tin mine accounts for only 10%. In the original tin ore, the reserves of the cassiterite-type polymetallic deposit account for about 80% of the total. Since sand-sand mines are mostly open-pit mining, the ore dressing process is simple, so the production cost is relatively low. China is dominated by primary tin mines, which also increases the cost and difficulty of our mining production. In addition, the total and associated components are also an important feature of China's tin resources. China's tin mines in the form of single minerals account for only 12%, and tin mines as the main minerals account for 66% of the country's total reserves. Tin ore, which is a companion component, accounts for 22% of the country's total reserves. Symbiotic and associated minerals include copper, lead, zinc, tungsten, antimony, molybdenum, bismuth, silver, niobium, tantalum, beryllium, indium, gallium, germanium, cadmium, and iron, sulfur, arsenic and the like. If these common and associated components can be recycled, the industrial chain of tin mines can be broadened and extended, and the economic benefits of mines can be improved, which has great comprehensive utilization potential.

Second, the status quo of China's tin mine resources development and utilization

(1) There are many tin mining enterprises, but the scale is not large. The extensive production and development are the mainstays. The situation of intensive and large-scale production has not been formed.

Take Yunnan's old ones as an example. In addition to several large mines in Yunxi, there are more than 140 non-state-owned mining enterprises and many contracted and joint artisanal miners who rely on these enterprises to survive. Most small and medium-sized enterprises have insufficient technology and funds, and the level of mining and smelting technology is low, and the comprehensive recovery rate is low. Some enterprises only pay attention to immediate interests, unilaterally pursue short-term profits, and suffer from aggravating poverty. This has caused huge waste of resources and drastically shortened the service life of the mine. For example, the No. 100 ore body of the Guangxi Peak Mine has a design mining life of more than 30 years. In fact, it has come to an end in less than 10 years. Each company is fighting, making the development of the mine disorder. The entire mining area has serious shortcomings in the formulation and implementation of a unified development plan, which is not only conducive to the rational development of existing resources, but also has many negative impacts on the medium and long-term development of the mining area. Enterprises with too small scale do not have too strong market competitiveness, and it is difficult to cope with the fluctuations of the international tin mining market. It is easy to cause vicious competition and internal consumption of competitive prices, which is not conducive to the healthy development of the entire industry.

(2) The environmental pollution and geological disasters of the mine are serious

The wastewater, waste gas and waste residue developed by tin mines seriously damage the mining environment: the mine wastewater mainly comes from the mine pit water discharged from the mining production, the rainwater from the waste rock field, and the washing and tailing wastewater discharged from the ore processing plant. It not only pollutes farmland and rivers around the mine, but also destroys the ecological balance. Some heavy metal pollutants will directly harm human health through the food chain; rock and blasting in mine production will produce a large amount of CO, NO, CO 2 gas and dust, sometimes It also produces toxic and harmful gases such as SO 2 ; in addition, solid deposits such as waste rock tailings produced during the mining process not only occupy a large amount of land, but also become a new source of pollution. Due to various reasons such as inadequate management and insufficient safety awareness, China's tin mining industry has repeatedly experienced major geological disasters and safety accidents. The most typical one is the Nandan “717” permeable event, and only the Yunnan old tin mining area has 10 There are geological disasters such as landslides, mudslides, subsidences, and ground fissures. The deteriorating mine geological environment brings safety hazards to mineral mining, and directly affects the living environment and life and property safety of the residents of the mining area.

(3) Insufficient reserve reserves

Although China's tin reserves rank first in the world, after years of mining, coupled with insufficient investment in exploration, many mines have entered a period of resource crisis, and some mines have been closed or converted. For example, in Yunnan’s Gejiu tin mining area, Yunxi Group Co., Ltd., the largest tin mining company in China, has handled or is in the process of shutting down and bankrupting 11 mines, accounting for 68.8% of the company’s original mines; Tefu Ore Body - Peak Tin Mine has only five years of service. Insufficient reserve reserves are the primary problem facing the development of tin mining in China.

(4) Mining and smelting technologies are backward, and the comprehensive utilization rate is low.

Compared with the high efficiency, intelligence, mechanization and energy saving of foreign mining and smelting process equipment, the technical level of China's tin mining industry is generally backward. Taking Yunxi Group as an example, the company has introduced and developed some mining and beneficiation automation equipments and continuously improved the smelting process, and has reached the world's leading level in some fields, despite increasing equipment investment in the past ten years. However, due to various reasons such as capital and technology, many new processes and equipment have not yet been fully promoted and applied. The mining and mineral processing methods of most medium and small mines in China are still very backward, running at low efficiency and high cost. China's tin mines are mostly common and associated minerals. The tailings and slags produced in the development of tin mines contain abundant common and associated metal ores, but the use of common and associated minerals has not yet formed scale and benefits. Most of the tailings are used to repair the reservoir tail, failing to make full use of resources, resulting in waste of resources.

(5) Most of the production and export are mainly rough-processed or unprocessed products, the deep processing industry is developing slowly, the investment in scientific research is insufficient, and the industrial structure needs to be adjusted.

As an important tin-producing country in the world, China is also a major consumer of tin. In 2004, China produced 117,000 tons of tin, while the consumption of tin reached 84,000 tons. The products of China's tin industry are mainly primary processing products such as refined tin, solder, tin-based alloy, etc., with fewer varieties and relatively low technical content. As an important tin exporting country in the world, China imports a large amount of deep-processed tin products from Japan, South Korea and other countries every year, and its raw materials are derived from our domestically exported primary products. In the international market, we only rely on resource advantages in the low value-added primary processing products market, but in the high value-added, high-tech deep processing products market, we are far behind Japan, the United States and other developed countries. The structure of China's tin mining industry is irrational, mainly based on rough processing products with low technical content, the industrial chain is too short, and the resource advantage fails to form an industrial advantage, which is not conducive to the sustainable development of China's tin industry.

Third, the thinking of the sustainable development of China's tin mining industry

(1) Give full play to the resource advantages of China's tin mines and allocate resources to the market

Taking large-scale mining enterprises as the leader, through the integration of resources and other means, gradually forming industry advantages, through the allocation of resources to reduce the impact and risk of market fluctuations on tin mining enterprises. In recent years, the most striking feature of the development of the tin mining industry is that the concentration of the industry has been further improved, and resources have been concentrated in competitive enterprises. Under such circumstances, we should speed up the pace of resource integration, increase efforts, and shape a group of more internationally competitive enterprises as soon as possible. The Xinyunxi Group in Yunnan Province is a typical example of success: under the situation that the Yunnan Provincial Government vigorously promotes the integration of resources and accelerates the development of industrial enterprises, the two dominant enterprises of Yunxi and Kunming Precious Metal Research Institute are reorganized into new Yunxi. The Group has become a large-scale enterprise of world-class rare metal refining, R&D, production and processing integrating R&D and processing, and its competitiveness in the industry has been greatly enhanced. The new Yunxi Group produced 40,000 tons of tin in 2004, with sales revenue of more than 4 billion yuan. The production capacity has ranked first in the country and second in the world, and the development trend is good. On the basis of resource integration, domestic related enterprises should grasp the advantages of resources, exploit the market capacity as the guide, maintain the stability of the tin market, avoid disorderly competition and competitive price reduction; establish market sales information sharing in sales. Relationship, cooperate in the international market sales strategy, properly control sales, form a certain market strength, and thus obtain better economic benefits, and ensure the sound development of China's tin mining industry.

(II) Strengthening the preparation and implementation of tin mine resource development planning

Develop a reasonable development plan for the reserves, types, distribution and other information of each deposit in the mining area. The optimal mining rate should be sought to maintain the orderly and moderate development of tin resources as the basis for mining planning, while taking into account the ecological environment surrounding the mining area. Actively improve the unreasonable situation of the mine layout, develop the tin resources with large-scale and intensive production methods, and close mines with too small scale. The orderly mining of tin mine resources can be strategically protected for lean ore with high technical difficulty or high mining cost, and the development sequence should be formulated according to technology, capital and market conditions.

(3) Reorganizing the order of tin mining development and regulating the tin mining property market

Continue to improve the laws and regulations on mineral resources management, increase implementation, and crack down on undocumented exploration and theft. Further strengthen the management of exploration rights and mining rights, increase transparency, and strictly prevent violations of laws and regulations.

(4) Increasing geological exploration investment and prospecting efforts

The reserves of tin resources are the primary factors determining the competitiveness of tin mines. Active exploration of geological exploration and prospecting is the basis for the development of the mineral industry. First of all, it is necessary to formulate supplementary exploration plans for resource-exhausted mines and strive to extend the service life of crisis mines. Continue to find ore in the deep and peripheral areas of large and medium-sized mines, and continue to strengthen mineral exploration and prediction in metallogenic belts.

(5) Improve the process and equipment for mining and smelting, and improve production efficiency and comprehensive utilization rate

According to the actual situation of each company, gradually improve the production process, update the expired and inefficient equipment. While actively introducing foreign advanced technology and equipment, it is necessary to strengthen independent research and development and improve the level of mining, metallurgy and technology in China's tin mines as soon as possible. Pay attention to the comprehensive development of the common and associated mines and the recycling of tailings, increase investment in this area, increase the economic benefits of the mine, and broaden the industrial prospects of tin mining enterprises.

(6) Adjusting the industrial structure and intensifying production and management

The development and utilization of tin mines should be closer to intensive production methods, strengthen scientific and technological research and development, and deepen the industrial chain with the deep processing of resources as a new starting point. The deep processing of tin ore products can increase the added value of products, greatly improve economic efficiency, optimize the structure of tin mining industry, and transform the resource advantages of China's tin mines into commodity, economic and industrial advantages.

(7) Change thinking and take a sustainable development route

Actively learn and learn from advanced mining management experience, change the one-sided management thinking that pursues short-term interests in the past, and gradually adopt the idea and technical route of cleaner production to develop mines. This will not only help to improve the comprehensive benefits of mining enterprises, but also alleviate social problems such as environmental pollution brought about by mining development to a certain extent, and is the only way for the sustainable development of mining areas.

Fourth, the conclusion

Although the world tin market has shown signs of recovery since 2004, tin products have changed from oversupply to oversupply, and prices have rebounded. Tin mining companies have swept away in the past few years. However, the temporary recovery cannot cover up many problems faced by China's tin mining industry. To make the entire industry sustainable and healthy development, we must face up to and solve these problems. On the one hand, the government should strengthen macroeconomic regulation and control, actively promote the resource integration of tin mining enterprises and structural adjustment of tin mining industry, rectify the order of tin mining development and the mining property rights trading market, and provide a healthy and benign development environment for the production and operation of tin mining enterprises; It is also necessary to increase investment in geology and exploration, attach importance to crisis mines to replace resources for prospecting, extend the service life of existing mines, and lay a solid resource foundation for the development of tin mining industry. On the other hand, tin mining enterprises should also grasp the dynamics of the international tin market, market-oriented industrial development; change traditional thinking, aim at intensive production and large-scale operation, strengthen scientific research and development, and enhance enterprises through technological innovation. Productivity and competitiveness, actively expanding and occupying the field of tin consumption. Only through the joint efforts of the government and enterprises can China's tin mining industry better face opportunities and challenges and achieve sustainable and healthy development.


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