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China spreads its iron ore roving eye to Mauritania

China spreads its iron ore roving eye to Mauritania

Beijing: Mauritania's state-run mining firm signed a seven-year pact this week to sell 1.5 tonnes of iron ore annually to China, which has been rapidly extending its financial footprint in Africa.

The deal was signed by Wang Qingtang, vice-president of China Minmetals Corporation, and Mohamed Ali Ould Sidi Mohamed from the National Industrial and Mining Company (SNIM).

"The sale to the Chinese market represents about 21 percent of SNIM's actual production and 18 percent of its targeted output for 2010," Ould Sidi Mohamed said.

The pact is renewable. Mauritania's mining sector represents 12 percent of gross domestic product, according to the mining ministry.

Latest estimates given to Seatrade Asia Online suggest China will import around 390m tons of iron ore, slightly down from the project 400m as Beijing tried to rein in the trade imbalance by cutting steel exports.  [22/08/07]