Zijin Mining Group
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Zijin Mining to spend 6.3b yuan on growth

Carol Chan

Zijin Mining Group, a major mainland gold miner, plans to use about 6.34 billion yuan of the proceeds from its planned A-share offering for expansion and acquisitions, almost half of which will be for buying overseas assets.

Fujian-based Zijin, which reported a better than expected 142 per cent rise in profit for last year to 1.71 billion yuan, aimed to complete its about US$1 billion Shanghai share sale this year, deputy chairman Liu Xiaochu said yesterday.

The company plans to sell as many as 1.5 billion A shares, or 12.49 per cent of its enlarged share capital. Based on its Hong Kong-listed H shares, which closed up 1.22 per cent at HK$4.99 yesterday, the offering would be worth about HK$7.49 billion yuan.

Zijin, which has footprints in Mongolia, Vietnam, Russia, Myanmar and South Africa, said about 3.15 billion yuan of the A-share offering proceeds would be used for overseas expansion. This includes its #94.6 million (HK$1.43 billion) takeover of Monterrico Metals, the owner of the Rio Blanco copper and molybdenum mines in Peru, as well as its bid for the Peruvian government's Michiquillay copper mine.

Zijin said it planned to buy an overseas gold mine and develop an overseas lead and zinc project, but did not give details.

In the mainland, it will spend 1.52 billion yuan to expand its Zijinshan gold and copper mine in Fujian as well as set aside 357 million yuan for exploration and 300 million yuan for buying mining rights.


Zijin would set aside capital spending of up to three billion yuan this year, of which 1.5 billion yuan would be for overseas projects, chairman Chen Jinghe said.

Zijin, which more than doubled its gold output to 1.58 million ounces and copper production to 40,302 tonnes last year, targets to produce 55 tonnes of gold and 55,000 tonnes of copper this year.

It also plans to lift zinc output to 130,000 tonnes from last year's 54,703 tonnes, and iron concentrates to 800,000 tonnes from 600,000 tonnes.

Meanwhile, Mr Chen predicts global gold price will stay above US$630 an ounce this year, after hitting a 25-year high of US$725 in May last year. Gold averaged US$603.46 an ounce last year, up 35.69 per cent from US$444.74 in 2005. Zijin's average gold selling price surged 32 per cent to US$611 an ounce last year.