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CN - Nonferrous metals recycling moving into high gear

Along with the acceleration of China's industrialization and urbanization, the production and consumption of major nonferrous metals have been growing rapidly and the gap between needs and resources has been getting increasingly wider. The current foreign supply dependency of mineral raw materials of copper, aluminum, lead and zinc has been higher than 60%, 50%, 40% and 15% respectively.

Recycled nonferrous metal industry has become an important industry for breaking resource and environment bottlenecks, it plays an important role in relieving supply intensification of nonferrous metals, improving the comprehensive utilization efficiency of resources and promoting the sustainable development of the society. At the same time, recycled nonferrous metal products has extensive industrial linkage, it not only can provide more employment opportunities but also has intensive capital and technologies, therefore having a broad prospect.

Sunrise industry with broad prospects;
Nonferrous metals have good recyclable characteristics. Nonferrous metals recycling, being with marked energy saving and emission reduction effect is an important trend of nonferrous metal industry.

Nonferrous metal industry is an important basic raw materials industry of national economy. Nonferrous metals are well recyclable and renewable. In 2010, China's import volume of physical nonferrous metals was 7.21 million tonnes including 4.36 million tonnes of copper containing scrap and 2.85 million tonnes of aluminum containing scrap. The volume of copper, aluminum and lead recycled from domestic market was 4.05 million tonnes including 1.1 million tonnes of copper scrap, 1.6 million tonnes of aluminum scrap and 1.35 million tonnes of lead scrap. Such nonferrous metal recycling has relieved the imbalance between supply and demand in China considerably and has reduced the exploitation of primary minerals.

At the same time, the production volume of recycled nonferrous metal in China has reached 7.75 million tonnes in 2010 in which recycled copper accounted for 2.4 million tonnes recycled aluminum accounted for 4 million tonnes and recycled lead took up 1.35 million tonnes. Compared with the exploitation of primary nonferrous metal resources, China's recycled nonferrous metal industry saved 17.19 million tonnes of coal equivalent, 1.32 billion cubic meters of water and reduced 1.16 billion tonnes of solid waste discharge, 0.37 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide emission.

At present, China's recycled metal production volume has maintained high speed growth for ten consecutive years. There are over 40,000 resource recycling enterprises, nearly 10 million employees; over 5000 enterprises are engaged in the disassembly and conversion of recycled articles and there were over 640 terminal transaction markets. In recent years, production volume of major recycled metals has been growing at 27% annually, increasing from 0.72 million tonnes in 2000 to 7.75 million tonnes in 2010.

Up to the end of 2010, recycled nonferrous metal had become an important part of China's nonferrous metal industry; the great development of recycled nonferrous metal industry has relieved China's shortage of primary nonferrous metal resources.

According to estimation, compared with primary metal production, each tonne of recycled copper, aluminum and lead means coal equivalent saving of 1054 kilograms, 3443 kilograms and 659 kilograms, water saving of 395 cubic meters, 22 cubic meters and 235 cubic meters, solid waste discharge reduction of 380 tonnes, 20 tonnes and 128 tonnes. Each ton of recycled copper and lead gives a reduction sulfur dioxide emission by 0.137 tonne and 0.03 tonne.

According to the introduction of China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association Recycling Metal Branch, China's recycling metal industry is at the important gateway of structural transformation and it has had relatively favorable industrial basis.

In the first, the structural adjustment of recycled nonferrous metal industry has made marked achievements, recycled metal processing industrial park has gradually come into large scale construction, enterprises are developing quickly, smelting and processing technology have been improved obviously, technology progress and innovation have been accelerated, and a complete industrial chain covering waste metal recycling, disassembling, smelting, processing and product application has been formed.

In the second, the application of recycled nonferrous metal has been expanding continuously, application of recycled aluminum alloy has a bright future and recycled lead alloy and recycled copper industry have obtained good results.

In the third, private enterprises have become the major producers of recycled nonferrous metals; they have such advantages as flexible mechanism, new systems and strong innovation awareness, etc and have made great contribution to promoting the development of recycled metal industry.

In the fourth, relevant government department has all along attached great importance and given vigorous support to the development of recycled nonferrous metal industry and the collaboration of production, scientific research and universities has been formed to jointly promote the development of the industry.

The pace of exploitation and utilization accelerated;

Compared with the exploitation of primary nonferrous metals, production volume of recycled nonferrous metal of China in 2010 means a saving of 17.19 million tonnes of coal equivalent saving, 1.32 billion cubic meters of water and a reduction of 1.16 billion tonnes of solid waste discharge, 0.37 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide emission.

In 2010, with the driving of series favorable policies of the State and the market demand, recycled nonferrous metal enterprises accelerated fixed assets investment which for major nonferrous metals took on a relatively rapid growth momentum.

On the one hand, the existing production scale of leading recycled nonferrous metal enterprises has been enlarged increasingly. On the other hand, a group of new large-scale projects have been started or put into production in succession. Along with the key projects go into production gradually, the industrial concentration of China's recycled nonferrous metal industry will be improved obviously and the structural adjustment and industrial upgrading will be accelerated remarkably.

Sourced from en.ce.cn

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