China's recent economic activity has set the entire world on edge. In 2015, the country reported a growth rate of 6.9%, its lowest in a quarter century. This has been reflected in the state of the country's major industries, especially in automotives and mining. China is still one of the world's superior mining nations, but several problems have erupted as growth continues to slip. Natural resources are depleting, top minerals and metals are experiencing production decline, and international projects are being abandoned. This has affected the industry on an global scale, considering many countries trading in metals are largely dependent on China. The country appears to hold on to its number one spot with further projects and investments, perhaps in the hopes the industry will give it a much-needed boost.
One of China's biggest problems is its natural supplies. Minerals, metals, and other natural resources are running out rapidly, evidenced by the decline of one of its top exports, steel. On top of that, China voraciously uses over half of the world's supply of raw materials. To compensate for dwindling reserves, China launched a "Two Resources, Two Markets" program in 2006 advocating for pursual of mining projects all over the world. The programs are still continuing in full force, especially in Africa where several countries have some of the largest mineral reserves in the world. These include South Africa, a top producer in chromium and gold, Botswana, a forerunner in diamonds and other gemstones, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, containing the world's largest underdeveloped copper reserves.
With China establishing projects and investing in the region's infrastructure, mining production has increased at an impressive rate. So much so, in fact, that recent production is overwhelming demand, costing Chinese companies ample amounts of money. This does not seem to have deterred China, as it continues to expand international investments. Just last month, the Chinese titan CGN Mining Company Ltd. reported it was brokering a $82 million investment with Fission Uranium, a Canadian mining firm. Uranium demand in China is high out of desire for increased nuclear power. Thus, this deal is mainly for the sake of China's infrastructure more than anything else. Nonetheless, it would be a boon to China's metal supplies.
China is hoping that international mining projects will still solidify its place as a foremost mining nation, even as some plans appear to be backfiring. If mining continues to decline, it could spell worse news for China's economy.