China moves toward new stage of mining sector openness

China's government says it will simplify approval processes and management of mining and mineral resources within its borders in a bid to encourage more foreign investment into the sector.

Simplification of approval and management will build on its 2000 mining sector reform, which allowed foreign companies into China for mineral exploration.

"The Chinese government has attached great importance to the mining industry's contribution to the country's economic growth," said China's minister for land and resources, Jiang Daming.

Canadian banks and steel companies are eager to expand business in China, and are waiting for concrete, foreign investment-friendly policy changes.

"I have confidence in these policies being carried out soon, because when the Chinese government says they are going to do something, it can really be done quickly," said Greg McNab of Baker&McKenzie, referring to one of the benefits of a one-party state.

Roughly 50 firms are currently registered in the Global Mining Association of China.