Xinjiang Xin Xin Mining, which produces copper and nickel in the resource-rich western region of the mainland, plans to raise about US$500 million from an initial public offering in the domestic market later this year at the earliest, market sources say. The company declined to comment. Bank of China International is arranging the deal. Xin Xin owns the Kalatongke Copper-Nickel Mine in Xinjiang's Fuyun county and a refinery, also in Xinjiang. The company was set up in 2005 by state-owned Xinjiang Non-Ferrous Metal Industrial Group with a registered capital of 300 million yuan, according to Xin Xin's website. Shareholders include Shanghai Yilian Mining and Energy Industrial, China Capital Investment, Xiamen Zijin High-Tech, Shanxi Honghao Industry and Xinjiang Xinying New Material. The Shanghai Securities Journal had reported in January last year that Xin Xin Mining was planning a listing in Hong Kong and A-share market within the year. Xin Xin Mining recorded a gross industrial output value of 1.5 billion yuan in 2005, with sales revenue of two billion yuan, and 270 million yuan in profit, the paper reported. The company aims to have total sales revenue of six billion yuan by the end of 2010. The mainland's securities regulator is pressuring companies to list in the domestic market to raise the quality of exchanges. More high-quality stocks will also slow the rampant rise in mainland share prices by giving investors more supply to choose from. Western Mining, a mainland lead and zinc miner, is one company that had at first intended to sell shares in Hong Kong last year but later opted for a domestic listing. Its shares leapt 144 per cent on their first day of trading in Shanghai on Thursday. During its 6.2 billion yuan initial public offering the deal attracted 1.51 trillion yuan in orders, or 244 times the total number of shares on offer. The three-month forward contract for nickel on Friday traded at US$33,200 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange, down from a high of US$51,600 a tonne on May 4. The contract price has risen from US$13,900 a tonne at the start of last year. The three-month forward contract for copper has also dropped off the US$8,320-a-tonne high it hit on May 11. Last Friday, the contract traded at US$7,825 a tonne which is still more than two times the US$2,912 the contract traded at the start of last year. The drop in forward prices was due to technical factors and not a weakening in demand, market observers said.