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18/07/2024
Mining News

Zijin Mining stock rises on discovery of China’s largest copper reserve

Zijin Mining Group‘s stock price saw an uptick following the Chinese authorities’ confirmation that one of its mines has become the largest copper reserve in the country, with reserves now recognized as 76 percent greater than previously estimated.

Shares of China’s top copper producer closed up by 2.7 percent today at CNY 18.04 (USD 2.50). The broader Shanghai market experienced a 0.9 percent rise.

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The reserves of the Julong Copper Mine, in which Zijin holds a 50.1 percent stake, were found to be nearly 5.8 million tons larger than earlier assessments, now making up 14 percent of China’s total copper reserves as of the end of 2022. This information was disclosed by Zijin Mining on June 28 after the market closed, citing a review by the Ministry of Natural Resources. The Julong mine, located in the Xizang Autonomous Region, will see its reserves increase from 14.7 million tons to 25.9 million tons.

In addition to this, Zijin’s Tongshan Copper Mine in Heilongjiang province is set to see its reserves rise to 3.8 million tons, an increase of 3.7 million tons, according to the Fujian-based company.

Zijin Mining has initiated an expansion of the Julong project, which is located on a plateau at an altitude of 5,200 meters. This expansion aims to boost the mine’s annual copper output from 154,400 tons last year to between 300,000 and 350,000 tons.

The second phase of this expansion is slated to begin trial production in the first quarter of 2026, with plans to also increase the production of molybdenum and silver. The third phase, currently in the planning stages, aims to further raise the mine’s annual copper output to 600,000 tons, potentially making it the largest copper-producing mine globally.

Zijin Mining also plans to expand the Tongshan project within this year to add an additional 12,000 tons of copper production annually, along with increasing the capacity for molybdenum, gold, and silver, the company stated.

Last year, Zijin produced 1.01 million tons of copper, making it the only mining company in Asia to surpass the 1 million ton mark, according to its annual report. China’s total copper output for the year was 1.6 million tons, based on data from the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association.

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