MAC: Mines and Communities

Zijin On The Warpath Yet Again

Published by MAC on 2007-06-15

Zijin on the warpath yet again

Hong Kong-listed Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd., one of China's largest gold miners, is finalising its acquisition of London-listed Avocet Mining PLC's gold mine in Tajikistan. Commonwealth & British Minerals (UK) Ltd., a 100% Avocet subsidiary, currently holds a 75 percent stake in the Zeravshan gold mine project in Tajikistan, while the Tajikistan government holds the remaining 25 percent. The mine has been the largest gold mining operation in the country since it commenced production in 1996.

This will be Zijin's second acquisition, in as many months, of a UK company, following its takeover of Monterrico Metlas, which operates the highly controversial Rio Blanco projest in Peru.

Zijin is also currently in the initial round of negotiating for several other overseas mining projects - including a lead and zinc mine in the Tuva Republic of eastern Russia's Siberia, a copper and nickel project in Russia and gold mining projects in Vietnam and Mongolia.

Jiuquan Steel's ferrochrome JV kicks off in South Africa

Another London-listed mining company, International Ferro Metals Limited (IFM - a joint venture established by Jiuquan Iron and Steel Group and its South African and Australian partners) recently commenced operation of a 267,000-ton ferrochrome facility in South Africa.

The IFM project includes a chromium ore mine with an estimated 25 million tons reserves, an affiliated ore selecting plant with an ore processing capacity of 900,000 tons per year and a pellet plant with an annual capacity of 400,000 tons. IFM was established in 2002 with a registered capital of $157 million, at which time Jiuquan Steel was the largest shareholder with a 26.1 percent stake. The company raised 80 million pounds to finance the project by listing on the London Stock Exchange in September 2005.

[data from Interfax China Metals, 29 June 2007]


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