Wulagen Lead-Zinc Mine
Wulagen Lead-Zinc Mine
Wulagen Lead-Zinc Mine

The Wulagen Zinc-Lead Mine is a large-scale, low-grade mine in China that used to have no substantive mine development activity for a long time due to its low grades. However, under the operatorship of Zijin Mining, the mine underwent a series of technological and managerial innovations, leading to large-scale development and efficient resource extraction. As a result, the project has become the single largest producing lead-zinc mine in China with the lowest ore grades in the world and highest production volumes in China.

In 2021, the conversion of resources to reserves of the Wulagen Lead-Zinc Mine in Xinjiang was recognized as an Excellent Achievement in China’s Ten-Year Mineral Exploration Endeavor by the Ministry of Natural Resources. Xinjiang Zijin Zinc, the operator of the Wulagen lead-zinc mine, was awarded the National Advanced Unit in Poverty Alleviation by the State Council of China in February 2021. In 2023, it won the National May 1st Labor Award. It is the first national-level digital mining company in the lead-zinc industry, a national high-tech company, a national “small giant” firm, a company strong in intellectual property, and a national safety culture demonstration business.

In Xinjiang, it is recognized by the government as a green mine and green plant, a corporate technology center, and an ethnic unity and progress demonstration company in the autonomous region.

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Wulagen Lead-Zinc Mine
  • Location
    Wuqia County, Kizilsu Kirghiz Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang
  • Ownership
  • Project status
    In production
  • Deposit Type
    Submarine exhalative sedimentary - hydrothermal modification
  • Mineral Resources (Inclusive of Mineral Reserves)
    Contained zinc: 5.06Mt, Grade: 1.96%
    Contained lead: 86kt, Grade: 0.35%
  • Mining & Processing methods
    Open-pit mining + flotation
  • 2023 Production
    Zinc: 140,000 tonnes, Lead: 25,000 tonnes
  • Debottlenecking and Expansion

    The current processing capacity of the project stands at 25,000 tonnes per day. The phase four hydrometallurgical debottlenecking project is progressing steadily, with the trial run scheduled to commence by the end of 2023. Zijin Zinc has integrated surrounding mining licenses and plans to implement the integrated development of the Wulagen lead-zinc mine.

  • M&A

    Zijin Mining became involved in the project’s development through a government-initiated investment promotion program in 2007 and currently holds a 100% interest in the project.


The project has built a local value chain covering mining, processing, and smelting, providing about 5,000 direct and indirect job opportunities. In 2021, the company was recognized as an Advanced Entity in the National Poverty Alleviation Campaign. In 2023, it was awarded the National May Day Labor Award.

The project values technological innovation. It has been recognized by the government as a national Little Giant with niche and innovative businesses, a national high-tech company, and a pilot digital lead-zinc mine by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.