Angling for iron ore in China's streams
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - It may not have the allure of trout fishing, but Chinese farmers are cashing in on the world metals boom by fishing with magnets for lumps of iron ore in local streams.
"It sounds unbelievable, but it really happens in many mining areas, including mine," a manager of a mine in the eastern province of Anhui said.
"They tie magnets to steel wires, and fish for waste iron ore in the streams," he added.
Domestic steel mills are happy to buy their "catch," since China's rapidly growing steel output has strained domestic mines while sky-high international shipping rates have pushed up the price of imported ore.
Many of the mines are located in rural areas and the waste ore washes downstream through farms.
Iron ore prices are expected to rise 25 percent starting April 1, 2008. according to a Reuters poll of 12 analysts, with some looking for a 50 percent hike in prices.