China says iron ore imports will rise via state-owned projects in Africa

|By:, SA News Editor

China's dependence on foreign iron ore likely will reach new records, according to a top state industry official, which could help underpin slumping global prices but may not provide much of a boost for the world's largest global miners.

China is likely to see more iron ore imports coming from China-owned projects in Africa, rather than its traditional suppliers in Brazil and Australia; the two countries - home to BHP Billiton (BHP), Rio Tinto (RIO) and Vale (VALE) - still supply a combined 70% of China's ore.

Africa currently accounts for just 8% of China's supply, but Beijing has been building relations with at least 15 African nations.

BHP -1%, RIO -2.3%, VALE -1.2% premarket.