Chinalco sets up unit to explore minerals in Tibet
The Aluminum Corporation of China (Chinalco), China's largest aluminum and alumina producer, announced on Sept. 4 the establishment of a new unit that will be dedicated to mineral exploration in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Chinalco has injected RMB 250 million ($36.53 million) into the wholly-owned subsidiary named Chinalco Tibet Mining Corp. Ltd., which will be engaged in prospecting, exploration, metals smelting and sales, Chinalco said in the announcement.
The establishment of the new subsidiary represents a step forward in cooperation between Chinalco and Tibet. Chinalco has joined a number of other metal mining companies with operations in Tibet, such as Western Mining Group and Zijin Mining Group.
Western Mining and Zijin Mining's joint-venture project in Tibet is scheduled to commence copper smelting in September at China's largest copper deposit, the Yulong Copper Mine.
Overseas mining companies with exploration projects in Tibet include Canadian Continental Minerals Corp., which is working on the Xietongmen Copper-Gold Mine. The company expects to submit a mining license application to the Chinese government in the third quarter, and is preparing a social and environmental impact assessment in accordance with international standards for financing purposes.
In addition, the Qinghai-Tibet railway, launched in 2006, will be extended to other areas of Tibet. It is set to boost Tibet's economy and lead to further mining activities in the mineral-rich region.