Guangdong Enterprises (Holdings) plans to set up a one billion yuan (about HK$930.3 million) copper processing plant with a subsidiary of China National Nonferrous Metals Corporation in Gansu province. Gansu vice-governor Guo Kun said Guangdong Enterprises, the Guangdong provincial government's commercial arm in Hong Kong, would invest about 470 million yuan in the project. The mainland partner would be Baiyin Nonferrous Metal Company, under the China National Nonferrous Metal Corporation. Mr Guo said the contract would be signed soon. It is understood the project has been approved by the board of Guangdong Enterprises and the plant is due to start operation next year. Zou Xianmin , general manager of Baiyin's window company in the territory, Baiyin Nonferrous Metals (Hong Kong) Company, said the investment would help Baiyin expand its copper production capacity from 50,000 tonnes to 80,000 tonnes a year. But he declined to reveal details of the project. Mr Zou said Baiyin was also negotiating with a French company to set up a joint venture in aluminium production, but no agreement had been reached. He said the state had approved the plan to expand Baiyin's aluminium production capacity from 50,000 tonnes to 100,000 tonnes annually. The expansion will cost about $700 million. The company had no plans to expand its lead operation, which has an annual production capacity of 200,000 tonnes, he said. Baiyin's annual production of copper, aluminium and lead would increase from 300,000 tonnes to 400,000 tonnes, Mr Zou said. Baiyin was among 156 core industrial enterprises set up in the 1950s with subsidies and technology from the former Soviet Union. It has assets of about five billion yuan.