MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Jiangxi Copper, Zijin Mining and MCC jointly bid for Afghanistan copper mine

Published by MAC on 2007-03-23

Jiangxi Copper, Zijin Mining and MCC jointly bid for Afghanistan copper mine

Jiangxi Copper Group, Zijin Mining Group and China Metallurgical Construction Corporation (MCC) will together bid to co-develop a world class copper mine in Afghanistan, a Jiangxi Copper official told Interfax on March 20.

The three companies recently signed an initial cooperation agreement in Beijing, to jointly bid for exploration rights to the Aynak Copper Deposit, located 35 kilometers south of the Afghan capital, Kabul, at the northern end of Logar Province.

The three companies have not yet discussed the form their cooperation will take or the share distribution, as the copper project is currently only at tender stage, a senior Jianxi Copper official, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

Surveys show that the Aynak copper deposit contains 240 million tons of grade 2.3 percent copper reserves in the central portion of the deposit, making it a world-class copper deposit, according to information released by Afghanistan's Ministry of Mines and Industries. An exploration right tender for the deposit began in August. Applicants were required to be international investors with a proven track record in fiscal excellence and technical competence in copper exploration, processing and marketing of concentrate, blister or refined copper.

The ministry also requested applicants to provide infrastructure improvements of benefit to mine operations and to the country as a whole.

In November, the ministry announced a shortlist of nine interested mining companies from China, India, Australia and America.

According to a MCC announcement, MCC will be in charge of preliminary prospecting, project design and infrastructure and project construction. Jiangxi Copper and Zijin Mining will be responsible for mine management and operations and will also have priority on copper concentrate supply, if the three companies win the bid.

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