MAC: Mines and Communities

China forays further into Chile and Canada

Published by MAC on 2009-05-27

While China's biggest aluminium producer is still in "talks" with Rio Tinto over what's potentially the most important Chinese foreign investment deal yet made, it's not letting the grass grow under its feet elsewhere.

Last week Chinalco announced it is in negotiations with one of the world's largest copper miners, UK-listed Antofagasta plc, to secure copper concentrate from Chile - adding to the Chinese state company's acquisition last year of the Peru Copper Corporation.

Meanwhile, Jien Nickel's proposed acquisition of Canada's Liberty Mines moves a step further to fruition.

Chinalco in cooperation talks with Chilean copper miner

Interfax China Metals and Mining

22nd May 2009

The Aluminum Corporation of China (Chinalco) is currently in talks with Antofagasta Plc., a Chilean copper miner, regarding copper concentrate purchases and cooperation in investing in mine development projects, Chinalco announced May 15.

A Chinalco employee, who asked to remain anonymous, told Interfax that Chinalco has not cooperated with Antofagasta before. Chinalco's possible concentrate procurement from Antofagasta would be used to supply its subsidiary Yunnan Copper Group, the source added.
"Up till now, Antofagasta has been selling copper concentrate to China primarily through trading houses," a Chinese copper trader, who asked to remain anonymous, said.

Aside from its primary aluminum business, Chinalco has been expanding its copper business over the past few years. It became the largest shareholder in China's third-largest copper smelter Yunnan Copper Group in October 2007, and acquired Peru Copper Inc. in August 2007 to gain access to the Toromocho Copper Project, which has a predicted output of 250,000 tons of copper concentrate per annum.

Chile-based Antofagasta operates three copper mines, namely Los Pelambres, El Tesoro, and Michilla, which produced 428,000 tons of copper in 2007.

The company's Esperanza Project is scheduled to commence initial operations at the end of 2010, with annual production of 714,000 tons of concentrate containing 191,000 tons of copper and 215,000 ounces of gold.

Chinese govt approves Jien Nickel's acquisition of Canadian nickel miner

Interfax China Metals and Mining

22nd May 2009

Shanghai Stock Exchange-listed Jilin Jien Nickel Industry Co. Ltd. announced on May 21 that it has received the green light from China's National Development and Reform Commission to purchase a controlling stake in Canadian nickel miner Liberty Mines Inc.

"We have also received approvals from the Toronto Stock Exchange and shareholders of both companies," an anonymous employee from the securities department of Jien Nickel told Interfax.

According to the agreement previously inked by the two companies in early April, Jien Nickel will buy a 51 percent stake in Liberty Mines for CAD 30 million ($26.39 million).

Jien Nickel's share price stood at RMB 19.22 ($2.82) at 11:30 a.m. Beijing time on May 21 on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, down 0.55 percent from previous trading day.

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