China's iron ore imports are expected to increase 6.3 per cent to 850 million tonnes this year, about half of which will come from Australia. Photo: Bloomberg

China's miners to step up overseas push

Chinese mining companies will be on the prowl this year to acquire more firms or forge joint ventures in regions ranging from Africa to Latin America to Southeast Asia as they try to feed the country's voracious appetite for the iron ore and precious and industrial metals vital for an economy that has slowed but is still expanding at a healthy clip.