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Monday, January 28, 2008

China! China! China!

China's growth could spark political tensions
China’s booming economy is expected to consume more than half of the world’s key resources within a decade, according to Rio Tinto.

The rapid industrialization of China’s economy means that it is likely to consume a majority of the world’s supply of all the major metals and minerals, potentially leading to clashes with other countries over access to resources. Rio Tinto, the world’s second-largest miner, said last week that China already accounted for 47 per cent of all iron ore consumption, 32 per cent of aluminum and 25 per cent of copper.

Tom Albanese, Rio’s chief executive, has predicted that within the next couple of years this will move to 58 per cent of all iron ore, 45 per cent of aluminum and a third of all copper. He said: “Even with the assumption that the current growth intensity will slow, we are looking at China consuming a higher percentage of global supply.”

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