The Land and Natural Resources Department of China (LNRD) starts up iron ore exploration to ease the stress of rising iron ore prices.

The international iron ore prices has risen 65 percent in 2008, making China's steel production costs sky-rocket by nearly 400 Yuan per ton. As a result, China Steel Industry Association and the Department of Commerce called on the same day for domestic steel enterprises to increase investment on mining in foreign countries, individually or jointly with other companies.

To launch the iron ore exploration and achieve prospecting breakthrough is the effective way to increase the support capacity of domestic iron ore resources. Wang Min, the vice minister of LNRD said in a recent conference.

In the previous three years, China's average import prices of iron ore have experienced rapid growth: in 2005 it rose 71.5 percent while in 2006 it saw 19 percent gains, and in 2007 it increased rose 9.5 percent.

Wang min expressed that China's central leadership had clearly pointed out that the mineral resources strategy of China is based on domestic resource first and then actively exploit overseas. And he said the first and foremost task is to find large mines in China to ease the resources pressure.