Chinese Zijin starts production at giant copper mine in Tibet

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Dec. 27 (Reuters) – Zijin Mining said on Monday it had started production at its Qulong copper mine in Tibet, one of the largest consumers of metals in China, adding a new source of supply to the market for the next year.

Zijin, a well-known copper and gold producer who buys Neo Lithium (NLC.V), an Argentina-focused lithium miner, took control of the Qulong mine about 18 months ago by purchasing a 50.1% stake in operator Tibet Julong Copper Co and quickly resumed construction of the project.

Julong Copper is expected to produce 120,000 to 130,000 tonnes of copper in 2022, including volumes from Qulong Phase 1 and the Zhibula mine, which is also in Tibet, Zijin said in a filing on the Stock Exchange. Hong Kong.

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“Once Phase 1 reaches the designated production capacity, the annual copper production volume will be approximately 160,000 tonnes,” he added.

The tightness in the copper concentrate market seen in recent years is expected to ease in 2022 as mining production increases. Annual Processing and Refining (TC / RC) fees agreed to by miners and smelters increased for the first time since 2015.

Zijin said Julong Copper had requested the merger of the mining rights of the Qulong mine and the adjacent Rongmucuola mine, arguing that they belong to the same copper ore deposit. After the merger, the mine will be renamed Julong and phases 2 and 3 will be continued, he added.

“If the project obtains the approvals of the relevant government authorities, a final scale of mining and processing of about 200 million tons of ore per year can be achieved, and it will become the copper mine with the largest scale of mining and processing to the world, ”Zijin says.

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Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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