Innovation – Our Core Competitiveness

Mining is a high-tech industry.

Innovation, especially technological innovation, is the core competitiveness of Zijin Mining. The slogan “Science and Technology Underpin Zijin’s Success” encapsulates the development journey of Zijin Mining over the past 30 years.

Zijin Mining possesses industry-leading expertise and rich experience in geological exploration and evaluation; mining technology; comprehensive recovery and utilization of low-grade and refractory resources; and environmental protection.

Zijin Mining has independently developed the Five-Pronged Mining Engineering Model, which integrates systematic engineering and mineral economics to guide project construction and operations. The model provides significant competitive advantages in investment and cost control, creating a path for green, low-carbon, efficient, and sustainable resource extraction.

2023 Technology Figures
  • 1.6 billion RMB
    R&D spending
  • 5,236
    R&D personnel
  • 18
    Number of National High-Tech Companies
  • 109
    National and Provincial Science and Technology Awards
  • 224
    Research Findings with Proprietary Intellectual Property Rights
Our Roots

The Zijinshan mine is the birthplace of Zijin Mining.

From the 1950s through the 1970s, three attempts at geological prospecting at Zijinshan yielded no discoveries. In the 1980s, Mr. Chen Jinghe, the founder of Zijin Mining, along with local geological exploration teams, finally discovered and measured the first large copper-gold deposit on the southeast coast of China after a decade of arduous exploration. This discovery won the National Science and Technology Progress Award in China.

In 1993, the Shanghang Zijin Mining Company was established to develop the Zijinshan mine, a low-grade gold-copper project. Despite limited resources in terms of funds, talent, and technology, five rounds of systematic management and technological innovation were implemented. The Zijinshan Gold Mine, once deemed as an “almost worthless” project, quickly became China’s largest and most cost-effective gold mine, with the lowest grades and strongest profitability. This transformation led to the mine’s official recognition as “China’s Largest Gold Mine”. Meanwhile, by creatively combining bio-metallurgy with traditional flotation methods, Zijin successfully extracted minerals from low-grade copper ores, generating high profits from low-grade resources.

The development of the Zijinshan Gold-Copper Mine also fostered Zijin’s unique innovation philosophy, corporate culture, and the Five-Pronged Mining Engineering Model. The roots of Zijin Mining lie in the Zijinshan mine.

Five-Pronged Mining Engineering Model

During the exploration and development of the Zijinshan gold-copper mine, a project with low-grade resources, innovations in engineering and technology were made. In the process, Zijin Mining developed the Five-Pronged Mining Engineering Model. This model holistically considers and manages the five key processes - geological exploration, mining, mineral processing, smelting, and environmental protection, based on the movement of ores. The approach is designed to maximize the economic and social benefits of mining projects.

Geological Exploration

Today, geological exploration has become more difficult and requires strong technical capabilities. Technological innovation is therefore the key to achieving breakthroughs in exploration. Zijin Mining has competitive advantages in the field, with unit exploration costs far below the global average.

In innovating geological exploration technology, Zijin focuses on the prospecting of deep-seated deposits and low-cost, efficient, and rapid evaluation. We emphasize efficiency and independent exploration efforts and have fostered a competence-based atmosphere of innovation, unleashing the initiative and creativity of our geologists. This approach will cement Zijin’s reputation as an innovator in geological exploration.

Zijin Mining has various independently developed exploration equipment, including the internationally advanced Sinian System, UAV AeroMagnetic System and digital geological management system ZJGIM. We have achieved significant results through the application of advanced detection and analysis technologies, such as three-dimensional induced polarization, high-precision three-component magnetic surveying, 3D mapping of alteration minerals based on short-wave infrared spectroscopy, and three-dimensional reconnaissance. Through independent exploration, we have made major discoveries at the Yixingzhai Mine in Shanxi and the Duobaoshan Copper Mine in Heilongjiang, China, and the Jama and Veliki Krivelj Mines in Serbia.

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  • Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration
    The Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration is under the direct management of the headquarters. It is committed to advancing basic and strategic geological surveys for various types of mines, as well as mineral exploration and geological research.
  • Zijin Southwest Geological Exploration
    The company covers geological prospecting and exploration in southwestern China and Southeast Asia, with a focus on studying geological conditions in important metallogenic belts and conducting mining rights prospect surveys and potential evaluations.
  • Sino-Zijin Resources
    Sino-Zijin Resources Co., Ltd. aims to establish itself as a top-tier international exploration company. Its business areas include geological exploration services, investment in and acquisitions of greenfield mining rights, and technological innovation.
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  • Zijin Geophysical Technology
    Zijin Geophysical Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd. engages in research and development, provides technical services, and promotes the commercial application of technologies. It has nearly 70 years of experience in developing equipment and technology for geophysical surveying.
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Zijin Mining has independent technology for all processes of mining projects, along with capabilities in research, engineering, execution and innovation.

With strong capabilities in developing and rolling out technologies, we are able to carry out systematic technological research and application to solve the technical problems facing our affiliated companies.


Zijin Mining focuses on developing key technologies needed by the mining industry, prioritizing the real-world application of our technological solutions to deliver better results. We have developed a range of eco-friendly mining technologies for projects situated at plateaus. Our research on the large-scale, efficient mining of deep-seated deposits has made significant progress. Across the world, we have developed a number of mines with difficult-to-extract resources, creating independent innovations and a greener and more efficient model of mining.

  • Engineering Company
    Zijin (Xiamen) Engineering Co., Ltd. has a proven track record in engineering and consulting services for both the metallurgical (smelters and mines) and construction (building projects) industries.It has a subsidiary, Zijin (Changsha) Engineering Technology Co., Ltd.
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  • Engineering Technology Company
    Fujian Zijin Engineering Technology Co., Ltd. offers one-stop services for various projects, including project supervision, cost estimation, bidding, government procurement, construction management, regulatory approval, and engineering consulting, covering all phases of a project.
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  • Construction Company
    Zijin Mining Construction Co., Ltd. is committed to becoming a world-class, specialized construction company. It has a range of professional qualifications and a fleet of state-of-the-art mining equipment.
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  • Zhongkan Metallurgical Institute
    Zhongkan Metallurgical Investigation and Design Institute Co. Ltd. is one of China’s earliest geotechnical investigation companies. It offers a wide range of services, including surveying, geotechnical engineering consulting, investigation, design, construction, testing, monitoring, environmental assessment, and remediation.
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Processing of low-grade and refractory ores

Zijin Mining was initially the developer of mines with low-grade and refractory ores. We have comparative advantages in the acquisition of such mines and in maintaining competitive costs.

We have made breakthroughs in technologies used for processing and smelting low-grade and refractory ores, achieving strong profitability. These include the integrated processes and equipment for mining, mineral processing and metallurgy at the Zijinshan Gold Mine, bio-metallurgical technology for low-grade copper sulfides, and key technologies for the efficient recovery of gold from refractory ores.

During our global expansion stage, we have focused on the development and application of new processing technologies for non-ferrous metals, such as copper, lithium, zinc, and metals used in the renewable energy industry. This has supported the development of several large and ultra-large copper, zinc, and lithium projects.

Zijin Mining also operates R&D centers focused on high-purity metals, material preparation, and high-efficiency equipment.

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  • State Key Laboratory of Comprehensive Recovery of Low-grade and Refractory Gold Resources
    In 2010, Zijin Mining established the State Key Laboratory for Comprehensive Recovery of Low-grade and Refractory Gold Resources, the only one in China’s gold industry. The lab focuses on researching and developing technologies for the separation and comprehensive recovery of gold and other non-ferrous metals.
  • Mining and Metallurgy Research Institute
    Zijin’s Mining and Metallurgy Research Institute is committed to developing key technologies for the environmentally friendly and efficient extraction of metal resources. It boasts technological expertise in mineral processing, metallurgy, environmental protection, and materials. The institute conducts both fundamental research and industrial applications.
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  • Testing Company
    Fujian Zijin Mining and Metallurgy Testing Technology Co., Ltd. offers third-party testing services worldwide. It is accredited with CNAS, CMA, LBMA, and is qualified for the verification of volumetric glassware.
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  • Design and Research Institute of Renewable Energy and Advanced Materials
    The Zijin Design and Research Institute of Renewable Energy and Advanced Materials specializes in the research and development of battery materials and technology for energy storage; materials and technology for hydrogen energy; new materials made of metals such as gold, silver, and copper; and applications for rubidium and cesium.
Intelligent mines and plants

Intelligent technology is evolving rapidly, leading to unprecedented progress and transformation in human society, and providing the mining industry with greater opportunities for development and value creation.


In light of the trends of digitization, intelligent applications, and low-carbon development, Zijin Mining has been integrating information technology, and digital and intelligent technologies into our production and operations. We are transforming our operations by building independent and innovative global digital platforms and systems. Our efforts also include upgrading mining equipment and development methods, building more modern, intelligent mines, smart plants, and unmanned mines on plateaus. Additionally, we are developing more comprehensive and standardized information databases to reuse our data and unlock its value.

Zijin Zhixin
Zijin Zhixin
Zijin Zhixin (Xiamen) Technology Co., Ltd. provides IT solutions for the non-ferrous metals industry, aiming to become a leading innovator in smart mining. Its main businesses include IT infrastructure, smart operations, intelligent production, smart equipment, and information security. Zijin Zhikong, a company majority-owned by Zijin Zhixin, specializes in designing, deploying, operating and maintaining automated and intelligent systems for the non-ferrous metals industry.
Zijin School of Geology and Mining, Fuzhou University

Zijin Mining places a strong emphasis on the training of mining talent.

In 2007, Zijin Mining partnered with Fuzhou University to establish the Zijin Mining School, Fuzhou University, creating a model of business-university collaboration in tertiary education.

The School’s origins date back to 1958, when Fuzhou University was founded. At that time, the Department of Mining and Metallurgy was one of the five engineering departments of the university. In 2021, the School was renamed the Zijin School of Geology and Mining after absorbing the Department of Geotechnical and Geological Engineering from another school within the university.

The School is committed to training high-caliber mining professionals and focuses on the education of full-time undergraduates and postgraduates. It has cooperative relations with several leading universities in the world.

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