One giant leap for China
December 14, 2013
China’s Chang’e-3 lunar probe touched down on the moon yesterday and its Jade Rabbit rover will soon rove the lunar surface. China’s astounding accomplishment highlights the scientific progress made by the nation. Meanwhile northern jurisdictions stand to benefit from resource development activities made possible by Chinese capital and/or demand for goods.
China’s economic significance cannot be overstated:
- China accounts for more than 60% of the world’s iron ore imports. Prospective iron ore mines in Nunavut and Quebec are well aware of the Chinese market.
- China consumes 32% of the world’s copper imports. Capstone Resources in Yukon exports to China. Yukon’s Casino and Carmacks projects and Alaska’s Nova-Copper project depend on China’s consumption.
- China imports 15% of the world’s nickel. Quebec’s Raglan mine is one of the largest nickel producing mines in Canada.
- China consumes 12% of the world’s zinc. Projects in NWT and Yukon depend on Chinese demand.
- China consumes about 1/7th of the world’s crude oil. Oil sands producer in northern Alberta would love to be able to export to China.
- China accounts for more than 90% of the world’s rare earth supplies, but has just 23% of global reserves. Quebec’s Strange Lake deposit and NWT’‘s Thor Lake deposit are made attractive due to high prices and shortages of rare earths.
- China has invested $300B in the energy sector in the past 7 years, with Canada receiving more than $30 B of this.
- China’s GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 was 7.8 percent.
China’s remarkable achievement in landing a rover on the moon underscores its rise as a vitally important force in the northern economy. China provides a large market and capital to develop mines.