*Chinalco cooperation with Jiangxi to support tungsten prices
*China 2010 tungsten output seen up 5 pct, demand up 5-10 pct
By Polly Yam
HONG KONG, March 24 (Reuters) - Aluminum Corp of China’s agreement this month to help rare metals development in Jiangxi province should support tungsten prices, a senior executive from a state-owned firm in the province said on Wednesday.
Aluminum Corp, or Chinalco, the country’s top aluminium producer, has agreed to support Jiangxi Rare Earth & Rare Metals Tungsten Group, a company statement on Chinalco website said. (www.chalco.com.cn)
The support should help Jiangxi Rare Earth and Rare Metals to eventually list shares and raise capital for expansion and business operations, Liao said.
“That could stablise tungsten prices APT-CHINA,” Liao Xingeng, board chairman of Jiangxi Rare Earth & Rare Metals Tungsten Group Import & Export Co, told Reuters on the sidelines of Metal Bulletin’s minor metal conference in Hong Kong.
Liao added one benefit would be the ability of the province-owned firm to stockpile supplies when prices are low.
China’s production of tungsten, used in everything from light bulbs to military weapons, should rise by 5 percent in 2010 from last year’s about 40,000 tonnes of metal, depending on prices, Liao said.
“If prices stay around 80,000 yuan a tonne for wolframite (the ore that bears tungsten), production could rise more,” he said. Wolframite is now priced around 76,000 yuan tonne, he added.
Liao estimated China’s consumption of tungsten would rise 5-10 percent this year from last year’s 25,413 tonnes, and exports would increase by more than 10 percent on the year. (Editing by Ed Lane)