Wulagen Lead-Zinc Mine
Wulagen Lead-Zinc Mine
Wulagen Lead-Zinc Mine
Wulagen Lead-Zinc Mine
Wulagen Lead-Zinc Mine
  • Location
    Heiziwei Township, Wuqia County, Kizilsu Kirghiz Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang
  • Ownership
  • Project status
    In operation + under expansion
  • Deposit Type
    Basinal brines-sourced epithermal Pb-Zn Deposit
  • Mineral Resources (Inclusive of Mineral Reserves)
    Contained zinc of 5.1Mt with grade of 2.27%, and lead of 880kt with grade of 0.39%
  • Mining & Processing methods
    Open-pit mining + gravity separation
  • 2022 Production
    Mined zinc:141kt;Mined lead:20kt
  • Project Overview

    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.

  • 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.

  • ESG

    The project has built a complete value chain covering lead-zinc mining, processing, and smelting in its host region, providing nearly 3,000 job opportunities and indirectly supporting over 2,000 people in the tertiary sector in the county where it is based. In 2021, the project company was recognized as an Advanced Entity in the National Poverty Alleviation Campaign.

  • 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.

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