Mineral resources officially participate in macro adjustment

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At the beginning of the new year, a senior executive in Huaibei City, Anhui Province frowned. Huaibei, known as the "Coal Capital", was built on the edge of coal and prospered because of coal. In accordance with the development plan of Huaibei City, this year, it will smugly increase its coal mining efforts. But a notice from the Ministry of Land and Resources disrupted their plans. On February 27, the Ministry of Land and Resources issued the "Notice on Suspension of Acceptance of Application for Coal Exploration Rights". 

Except for the key coal development projects approved by the State Council and the use of the Central Geological Exploration Fund (working capital) or provincial geological special funds to carry out coal census and necessary detailed surveys, coal exploration rights may be set up, and the acceptance of new coal exploration rights applications is suspended nationwide ( Including the assignment of coal exploration rights by competitive means such as bidding, auction, and listing). This is the first time that the Ministry of Land and Resources has stopped local applications for coal exploration rights since the implementation of macro-control. 

What worries the local government even more is that the suspension will last until the end of next year, a span of two years. The length of the regulation time is really rare. "Obviously, the city's economic development will be greatly affected." The above-mentioned Huaibei city executive said. According to the Ministry of Land and Resources, the move is to "avoid the problem of overcapacity due to overheated investment in coal exploration, and to keep coal production basically stable". Chen Zhouqi, deputy director of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference's Population, Resources and Environment Committee, is very optimistic about this. He believes that in the past, mineral resources effectively played the role of basic industries in the national economy, but in recent years, the investment in fixed assets in my country's coal industry has grown rapidly, and there has been an overheating phenomenon. According to statistics from the Ministry of Land and Resources, the growth rate of fixed asset investment in the coal industry has risen sharply since 2003. In 2003, the total investment in fixed assets of the coal industry was 41.368 billion yuan, an increase of 43.8% over 2002; it surged 60.8% in 2004; it reached 65.6% in 2005; A deputy director of the consulting center of the Ministry of Land and Resources said that in terms of production capacity, the country's annual newly increased coal production capacity in recent years has exceeded 200 million tons. With the successive commissioning of projects in previous years, coal production will be released in a concentrated manner in the next few years. He predicted that coal production in 2007 will likely exceed 2.8 billion tons. However, while the production capacity of the coal industry is increasing rapidly, the growth trend of coal demand is slowing down. "The signs of excess are already very clear," he said. 

According to the latest data released, my country's coal demand slowed down in 2006. According to preliminary statistics, the annual coal social inventory reached about 150 million tons. Not only that, the rapid progress of coal investment has also brought about the safety production problem that the central government is quite worried about. According to our reporter's understanding, before the issue, Sun Wensheng, Minister of Land and Resources, personally led a team to conduct research in some major coal provinces for nearly two months. "The situation is not optimistic." An entourage said. "Obviously, it's impossible not to regulate." said the deputy director of the consulting center of the Ministry of Land and Resources. In terms of choosing how to control, the Ministry of Land and Resources has previously taken several measures, such as the marketization of mining rights, total control, and suspension of mining rights, etc., but the effect is not obvious. To this end, an official from the Ministry of Land and Resources believes that the use of exploration rights as the entry point for regulation can play a role in "cooling down" the investment in coal exploration and development from the source, and regulation is more targeted. "Every time a mining right is put into the society, it means that a mine may arise." The above-mentioned officials believe that it is an effective way for the management of mineral resources to participate in macro-control by grasping the amount of mining rights issued and promoting the balance of supply and demand.