Country for PR: China
Contributor: Xinhua News Agency
Tuesday, September 24 2019 - 01:00
Panzhihua, the Vanadium and Titanium Capital of China: New Changes in the Mines
CHENGDU, China, Sept. 23, 2019/Xinhua-AsiaNet/ --

On September 9, 2019, Sun Yat-sen University and the Social Sciences Academic 
Press (China) jointly issued the Blue Paper on Health Preserving: Report on the 
Development of the Health Preserving Industry in China (2018), in which 
Panzhihua ranked the 5th in terms of sustainable development capacity in the 
Chinese health preserving industry. The outstanding health preserving 
development potential is a manifestation of the sound nature, ecology and 
environment of a city. 

Yet, Panzhihua's ambient air quality was ranked excellent only 16% of the time 
in the year of 2004, the year which saw the city named one of the ten worst 
Chinese cities in air pollution. After many years of pollution management and 
environment protection, in particular the implementation of the green and 
ecological development concepts proposed by the Chinese government in the past 
few years, in 2016 Panzhihua achieved a 100% excellent rating in ambient air 
quality, according to the Environment Protection Bureau of Panzhihua, while the 
figures for 2017 and 2018 were respectively 98.4% and 97.8%.

Panzhihua is a city of sunshine and flowers in southwestern China, and a 
world-class model for resource-intensive industrial cities yearning for green 
transformation and development.

From the City of Iron and Steel to the Capital of Vanadium and Titanium

Panzhihua is the southernmost city in Sichuan, a major province of southwestern 
China. It neighbors the province of Yunnan and is the gateway that serves 
Sichuan Province's southward expansion.

When the international landscape was spiraling with increasing velocity and 
ferocity in the 1960s, China undertook the "Third Front Movement" as a part of 
preparations for worst case scenario, and a massive number of national defense, 
technology, basic industries were relocated to the western part of the country. 
Panzhihua was created for this purpose.

This was originally a wasteland but after enormous iron reserves were found, 
under the decision of the Chinese government, in the face of adverse condition 
and powered by the sheer perseverance of hundreds of thousands of Third Front 
Movement participants from around the nation, Panzhihua Iron and Steel Co. was 
established in 1965 in the middle of this treacherous alpine terrain as western 
China's first large-scale iron and steel enterprise.

With the production of iron in five years, steel in six years and sheet metal 
in nine years, Panzhihua Iron and Steel penned the concluding chapter in the 
history of a western China with no large-scale iron and steel enterprise, and 
created a world-class miracle by constructing a full-fledged iron and steel 
production facility on a plot of merely 2.5km2.

Panzhihua has been blessed with an abundance in mineral resources, with its 
reserves of titanium and vanadium respectively ranked biggest and third-largest 
in the world. After the concerted dedication of several generations, Panzhihua 
Iron and Steel Co. overcame the world-class problem of smelting high titanium 
vanadium vanadium-titanium magnetite with ordinary blast furnace, gradually 
actualizing scalable utilization of iron, vanadium and titanium, and garnering 
feats lauded across the globe.

In recent years, the development of the vanadium and titanium industries in 
Panzhihua picked up pace, and vanadium and titanium enterprise clusters 
continued to grow. As the pillar that supports the development of 
vanadium-titanium magnetite mines, Panzhihua Iron and Steel Co. has risen as 
the world's number one vanadium producer, China's largest titanium raw material 
and titanium processing enterprise with the most complete industrial chain, and 
at the same time a steel railway track manufacturing base that is the best in 
China and ranked among the top echelon worldwide. As China's one and only 
top-notch steel railway track certified for "national export quality inspection 
exemption," the 100-meter steel rails with vanadium fabricated in Panzhihua has 
been shipped to 25 nations and regions around the globe.

Panzhihua has grown into the emerging industrial city it is today precisely 
because of the diligence and contribution of countless Third Front Movement 
participants and their posterity, which is why it is also called a city of 
heroes. Today, this city of heroes has experienced several decades of 
innovative development, and has transformed from the Chinese city of iron and 
steel to the Chinese capital of vanadium and titanium that is striving 
steadfastly toward its goal of the world capital of vanadium and titanium.

Conviction in Green Development, New Changes in the Mines

As a typical resource-intensive industrial city, the ecology and environment in 
Panzhihua once deteriorated severely, and sulfur dioxide content in the air was 
way off the charts. In 2004, the city's ambient air quality was ranked 
excellent only 16% of the time, and was infamously named by the National 
Environmental Protection Agency as one of the ten worst Chinese cities in air 
pollution, with 60% of this atmospheric pollution originating from Panzhihua 
Iron and Steel Co.

A city needs to develop, but it also needs to protect its ecology and 
environment. As such, Panzhihua quickened the speed of its industrial 
transformation and upgrade, eliminated or closed down projects that did not 
comply with industry policies or environment protection requirements, and 
carried out pollution management and environment protection endeavors, 
resulting in the management of more than 600 industrial pollution sources, 
reduction of a cumulative total of nearly 50,000 tons of sulfur dioxide and 
over50,000 tons of smoke and dust over the span of a decade.

Especially in recent years, Panzhihua adhered to the green development 
principle propounded by the Chinese government, focused its efforts on creating 
a modern industrial system underpinned by green manufacturing, and prioritized 
the growth of industries such as advanced materials, high-end equipment 
manufacturing, new energy, biomedicine and health, with the proportion of iron 
and steel industry dropping from more than 90% during the earlier times to 
roughly 25% in present day.

Western Panzhihua, where dust pollution once choked the air, carried out 
intensive efforts to shut down pollution-generating enterprises and stockyards, 
and took measures such as planting banyan, mango and plum trees in stock yards, 
turning stony and desertified wastelands into verdant forests, turning disused 
industrial barrens into theme parks, and turning coal stockyards into beautiful 

Through the implementation of programs such as large-scale greening actions, 
in-depth restorations of ecologies like mountains, waters, forests, fields, 
lakes and pastures, Panzhihua achieved a forest coverage rate of 61.85% and was 
thus honored as National Forest City and National Garden City. Under the force 
of a series of environmental protection measures, the city's ambient air 
quality consistently maintained a rate of excellence at above 97.8% for three 
straight years, and water quality of surface water and drinking water sources 
continue to retain 100% standards satisfactory rate.

While quality or the air, ecology and environment have become increasingly 
better, the progressions in Panzhihua's green transformation and development 
have not slowed down. There are two unrivaled resources here in Panzhihua, one 
being the vanadium and titanium hidden underground, and the other being 
sunshine up above. Panzhihua boasts an annual average of 2,700 hours of 
sunshine, more than 300 frost-free days and an average temperature of 20.3 
degrees Celsius.

Capitalizing on such fabulous sunshine resource, in recent years Panzhihua has 
emphatically fostered its health preserving industry and unique fruits 
industry. Each winter, hundreds of thousands of seniors flock from the frigid 
regions of northern China to revel in the brightness and the warmth of the sun 
here. Benefiting from the ample sunshine, Panzhihua is the only subtropical 
fruits production base in Sichuan Province, with a wide range of high-quality 
outputs such as mango, loquat, pomegranate, strawberry and cherry. Well-known 
as the Chinese home of mangos, the sweet, yellow fruits from Panzhihua are 
famed for their stellar quality and are greatly coveted by markets around the 

Today, under the guidance of green development principles, new changes are 
taking place all across the scores of mines around Panzhihua. PV solar energy 
panels have been installed on the top of the Baoding mine to generate clean 
energy, and the black grits of coal in Taipingxiang are now replaced by 
fragrant and colorful organic fruits, as coal mines turned into fruit 
plantations and miners turned into farmers.

Source: The Environment Protection Bureau of Panzhihua