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Guo Wenqing Attends the ISA Third Annual Contractors Meeting and Holds working talks with Chen Fei, Vice Governor of Hunan Province

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On October 11, the ISA Third Annual Contractors Meeting, hosted by China Minmetals and organized by Changsha Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Co., Ltd., was held in Changsha. There are a number of distinguished guests who attended and delivered speeches at the opening ceremony of the meeting, namely, Mr. Guo Wenqing, China Minmetal’s President and Deputy Party Group Secretary and MCC Chairman, Mr. Michael W. Lodge, the ISA Secretary-General, Mr. Chen Fei, Vice Governor of Hunan Province, Mr. Gou Haibo, Counselor of the Department of Treaty and Law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC, and Mr. Zhang Lianqiu, Associate Counsel of the Division for Ocean Strategic Planning and Economics of the Ministry of Natural Resources of PRC. Mr. Liu Feng, Secretary-General of China Ocean Mineral Resources R & D Association, attended the ceremony which was presided over by Mr. Liu Caiming, Vice President and Chief Accountant and Party Group Member of China Minmetals. This meeting, also the first ISA contractor meeting in China, was attended by 39 delegates from 16 countries.

In his speech, Mr. Guo, on behalf of the hosts of the meeting, first welcomed the arrival of all the guests and contractors, expressed the gratitude to the leaders of all parties who have long supported the development of China Minmetals, and highly valued the remarkable achievements made by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in system development, business training, exchanges and cooperation in the past 25 years since its establishment.

Mr. Guo pointed out that China Minmetals is a metal mineral enterprise group formed by the strategic reorganization of two Global 500 companies, the former China Minmetals and MCC. As the guarantor of metal mineral resources supply, we have taken the lead in the global metal mineral industry chain layout from resource acquisition, exploration, design, construction, operation to circulation and deep processing, which has laid a solid foundation for rapidly improving the exploration ability of deep-sea mineral resources, building the mechanism for resource sharing, complementary advantages, cooperative research and continuous innovation in the field of deep-sea mining technology. As an active practitioner of national marine strategy, we have long been committed to the research of exploitation and utilization technology of marine mineral resources, and have led the completion of China's first pipeline lifting system 300m sea test and deep sea mining system 500m sea test, and the technical level is among the forefront of the world. We have become an important force in the development and utilization of international marine mineral resources as an enterprise contractor in China's first international seafloor mining area. Since the signing of the contract for exploration for polymetallic nodules with the International Seabed Authority in 2017, China Minmetals, as a firm executor of the concept of a community of maritime destiny, has effectively fulfilled the obligations of contractors, implemented plans of work for exploration, actively supported the participation of other developing countries in international seafloor affairs, contributing an important force to the marine economic development, the marine scientific research, the protection of the marine ecological environment, the joint participation in ocean governance and the sharing of the well-being of the oceans.

He stressed that the ocean is a huge treasure trove of human beings and an important replacement resource to ensure the sustainable development of human economy and society. Therefore, we are willing to work hand in hand with all parties to actively practice the principle of common inheritance and property of mankind, to promote a community of marine destiny, and to make new and greater contributions to the development of marine resources, the protection of the marine environment, and the common well-being of all mankind.

Mr. Michael W. Lodge expressed his gratitude to China Minmetals for its work in hosting the meeting in the speech, and highly affirmed the achievements made by China Minmetals in the achievement of seafloor exploration contracts, research and development of marine resources development technology, and support for the construction of ISA systems and standards. He also expressed his wish that the meeting would further enhance communication among contractors, accelerate the development of international rules for deep-sea mining and promote the exploitation of deep-sea mineral resources.

Mr. Chen Fei pointed out that Hunan is not only the hometown of China’s non-ferrous metals, with more than 100 kinds of mineral resources, of which tungsten, bismuth, antimony and fluorite are the largest reserves in China, but also the province where China Minmetals is of the widest strategic layout, the largest total assets and the most complete industrial chain with the long-established scientific research units such as Changsha Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Co., Ltd and Changsha Institute of Mining Research, which has strong strength in the exploration of seafloor resources. In the future, Hunan Province will base itself on the strategic orientation of "the transition zone between the eastern coastal region and the central and western regions, the open economic belt of the Yangtze River and the open economic belt of the coastal zone", further strengthen cooperation with the stakeholders including China Minmetals and the International Seabed Authority etc., and communicate with the world in a more open and inclusive manner.

Mr. Gou Haibo affirmed the achievements of ISA and its contractors in the development and utilization of marine resources, the cognitive protection of the seafloor environment, and the capacity-building of developing countries. He said that China has always advocated developing the deep-sea resources combined with deep-sea environmental protection, and carrying out in-depth international seafloor activities in an internationally cooperative manner, adhering to the principle of common inheritance and property of mankind.

Mr. Zhang Lianqiu said that the Ministry of Natural Resources will actively promote Chinese contractors to faithfully perform exploration contracts, strengthen exchanges and cooperation with ISA and other guarantor countries, perform various regulatory duties, and jointly promote international seafloor exploration and development activities up to a new level under the guidance of building a community of maritime destiny.

After the opening ceremony, the special meeting will be held by ISA and contractors to conduct in-depth discussion on issues such as development regulations, payment mechanisms, marine environment and biodiversity conservation, international scientific and technological cooperation, which will continue until 13 October.

Before the meeting, Guo Wenqing held working talks with Chen Fei. Guo introduced the progress and main achievements made by China Minmetals in the exploration and development of deep-sea mineral resources in recent years, and exchanged views on further in-depth cooperation and docking between the two sides to broaden the fields of cooperation, and promote the prosperity of sub-enterprises of China Minmetals for the win-win development. Chen expressed his gratitude to China Minmetals for choosing Changsha as the venue of this general assembly as well as for the contribution to Hunan's economic and social development for a long time. Hunan Province is actively implementing the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important instruction on serving the Belt and Road Initiative, and will further strengthen its efforts to support the development of China Minmetals’ subsidiaries in Hunan in the future.

He Xiuming, Executive Deputy Director of Hunan Science and Technology Department, Fu Jubo, Deputy Director of the Innovation and High Technology Development Branch of the Development and Reform Commission, and Yang Chan, Deputy Director of Changsha Science and Technology Bureau also participated in the above activities together with the relevant responsible persons of the headquarters departments, the directly-managed enterprises and the subsidiaries of China Minmetals.


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