State-owned China Non-Ferrous Metal Mining Group (CNMC) plans to float its Zambian copper assets in Hong Kong to raise as much as US$500 million, half the size of its previous listing attempt last year, according to a source close to the deal. The mining company aimed to launch the initial public offering this month, the source said. But details of the share placement and the price range have yet to be released. It was forced to scrap its share sale to raise US$1 billion last year because of volatile market conditions. Mainland investment bank China International Capital, JP Morgan and UBS are handling the deal. News of the listing plan comes just as CNMC finished a 2 billion yuan (HK$2.46 billion) five-year debt issue late last month to inject liquidity into the company. Mining and processing at least 25 types of minerals including copper, zinc, nickel, gold and rare earths, the company is actively engaged in overseas asset acquisitions around the world, including in Australia, Africa, and Asia. As of 2009, it had spent more than US$1.7 billion in Zambia alone building mines and smelting facilities. The state-owned miner is said to be planning to accelerate investment in Zambia, which has established an economic co-operation zone with China, focusing on resource and infrastructure projects. The zone has been operating for five years. Bankers said more mainland miners would float overseas assets on the Hong Kong stock exchange to raise money to boost productivity and expansion through overseas mergers and acquisitions. Aluminium Corp of China is expected to float its Peruvian copper-mining assets in Hong Kong to raise a maximum of US$1 billion. Kenny Tang Sing-hing, the general manager of AMTD Financial Planning, said industrial metals such as copper and aluminium were of strategic importance to the mainland's economy, despite the slowdown in its economic growth. The mainland also had to hedge against a rally in commodities prices in case of another round of quantitative easing measures by the US Federal Reserve, Tang said. He said investors were generally more receptive towards overseas mining assets involving non-ferrous industrial metals, offered by state-owned miners, than for mainland mines run by private companies. Separately, Fuxin New Energy, a subsidiary of mainland power group China Huadian, aims to raise US$1 billion this year through a Hong Kong share sale. China Zhongsheng Resources, the largest privately owned iron ore producer in Shandong province, has launched its share offering to raise up to HK$197.2 million.