The Ministry of Natural Resources urged provinces, regions and companies including state oil majors China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and Sinopec to focus their efforts on "strategic mineral resources", in a notice published on Wednesday.
These include commodities the country is short of, such as oil, natural gas, iron, copper, aluminium, gold, nickel, cobalt and lithium, it said, adding that miners' annual reports on their reserves should also be improved.
The ministry further called for an evaluation of China's mineral resource potential, with an emphasis on strategic minerals and those used in emerging industries.
"Knowing the quantity, quality, structure and distribution of our mineral resources is an important precondition for ensuring resource security and economic security," and will form the basis of mineral resource strategies, it said.
China, the world's top metals consumer and biggest crude oil importer, vowed to strengthen management of its mineral resources in its 2021-2025 economic planning period.
As well as seeking more accurate data on resources in the ground, the Chinese government last month called for better management of strategic commodity stocks kept in tanks and warehouses.
China is holding rare public auctions of state metal and crude oil stocks this year in a bid to tame high commodity prices.
(Reporting by Min Zhang and Tom Daly; Editing by Mark Potter)
By Min Zhang and Tom Daly