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Interregional supply chains of Chinese mineral resource requirements


Author: Xudong Sun, Ying Liu,  Shan Guo, Yang Wang, Bo Zhang

Abstract: Reliable mineral resource supply is necessary for socio-economic development. As the world’s leading consumer of mineral resources, China’s economic development largely relies on the exploration, exploitation and utilization of mineral resources. This paper explores the interregional supply chains of Chinese mineral resource requirements in 2012 via the multi-regional input–output and structural path analyses. Exergy as a common metric is used for the integrated assessment of mineral resource inputs. Results show that investment is the most crucial final demand category for most provinces’ embodied mineral uses. The Construction sector is the biggest user of embodied mineral resources in all 31 provincial regions. Shanxi, Inner Mongolia and Shaanxi providing most mineral resources for other regions have high proportions of interregional mineral resource exports. Developed regions as net importers of embodied resources always have large resource requirements, and Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Shandong and Shanghai are important mineral resource consumers. We further identify critical supply chain paths based on the overall mineral resource linkages through interregional trade. Coal mining→Investment is a typical path for the investment-induced intra-provincial transfer, while Coal mining→Nonmetal products→Construction→Investment is an important path for investment-induced interregional transfer. Coal mining→Electricity power, stream, and hot water production and supply→Consumption is an important path for consumption in intra-provincial and interregional transfers. The regional integrated mineral resource footprint and its critical paths will help policymakers to understand real mineral resource consumption patterns and related supply chain nexus, and to develop targeted resource policies from the consumption-based perspective.