Zijin’s Chairman calls on Chinese miners to uphold global strategy
2023/10/31 4080

l  Chairman Chen Jinghe attended the China Mining Conference in Tianjin and discussed the challenges and opportunities miners face

l  Vice presidents of the company spoke about Zijin’s experience in ESG and global operations at the event

Chen Jinghe, Executive Chairman of Zijin Mining, attended the 25th China Mining Conference and Exhibition, held in Tianjin, China, from October 26 to 28. He delivered a speech during the event, where he highlighted the challenges and opportunities for mining companies and encouraged Chinese mining companies to remain committed to their global growth strategy.

This year, the theme of the largest annual gathering for the Chinese mining industry was Innovation Promotes High-Quality Development of Mining. The event was attended by government officials, business leaders, and exhibitors from across the mining and mining services industries.

The opening ceremony of the conference was attended by senior officials, including Chen Min’er, member of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the CPC Tianjin Municipal Committee, Wang Guanghua, Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Zhang Gong, Mayor of Tianjin, and Xu Dachun, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources. Following the ceremony, they visited Zijin’s booth at the exhibition where they were briefed on the company’s operations by Chairman Chen Jinghe.

Challenges and Opportunities for Miners

Chairman Chen was invited to attend the opening ceremony and later delivered a speech entitled Challenges and Opportunities for Mining Companies in the New Era at the thematic forum.

Chen Jinghe said that momentous changes unseen in a century are accelerating across the world, and the global economy is facing increasing downward risks. Geopolitics, climate change, resource nationalism, and rising costs are the risks and challenges global miners face in their push for sustainable development. With the consensus on addressing climate change and controlling greenhouse gas emissions, as well as China’s formulation of carbon peaking and neutrality goals, the renewable energy revolution will become a new “growth driver” for the global mining industry.

He noted that copper is a strategic metal crucial to energy transformation. However, the number of large, high-quality copper mines is decreasing globally, and there is a severe lack of new discoveries, while capex and costs are rising. The imbalance in copper supply will only escalate, which is likely to further widen the gap in global copper supply.

He added that globally, deposits of lithium, known as the ‘white oil,’ are sufficient, but high-quality resources are scarce. The energy revolution has turned lithium into a major metal, and the ensuing aggressive expansion has resulted in overcapacity, causing the market to undergo a brutal restructuring. Against this backdrop, battery metals miners have to seek to control high-quality resources and reduce costs. 

Chen Jinghe said that with a huge market that has more demand than supply, and an advantageous position in the industry, China is fully capable of overcoming short-term challenges during the transformation. Resources are the lifeblood of mining companies. Chinese miners must stay committed to operating globally while embracing the renewable energy revolution. As the revolution unfolds globally, Chinese miners, being latecomers to the world’s mining industry, must build up their strength in order to outcompete established players and forge a competitive edge on the global stage.

Chen Jinghe shared with participants Zijin’s approach to building global competitiveness. He said Zijin is committed to providing low-carbon minerals for humanity and pursues a global growth strategy. It is a major global supplier of copper and lithium. He mentioned that Zijin emphasizes carbon peaking and neutrality goals, as well as its renewable energy and materials business, in its strategy for the next decade.

Noting that Zijin aligns its ESG system with global benchmarks and has charted a path to decarburization based on international standards, Chairman Chen suggested that Zijin has built a green, efficient, and sustainable mining model, advancing mining development while protecting the environment, and contributing to the global energy transition.

Sharing experience in ESG and global operations

Zijin’s vice presidents Xie Xionghui, Shen Shaoyang, and Wang Chun also attended the opening ceremony. They spoke about Zijin’s philosophy and experience in breakout sessions and provided suggestions on the development of the mining industry.

Executive Director and Vice President Xie Xionghui talked about Zijin’s philosophy and practices in social responsibility, de-carbonization, and legal compliance. He said that critical minerals are very important for achieving net-zero emissions, and metals suppliers should consider it their duty to help achieve these goals. Vice President Xie further noted that while achieving green and high-quality development across their own operations, they should also jointly build a healthy mineral supply chain, reduce the carbon footprint of the industry, and share the value created through mining with society.

Vice President Shen Shaoyang shared the global development journey of Zijin at the Dialogue with World-Class Mining Executives. He said that Chinese companies have the potential to become world-leading businesses, but there are still gaps in their global operations, and they need to learn from international peers. At the same time, Chinese companies should handle local affairs in a way that is acceptable to the local people, rather than approaching them with a Chinese mindset. Vice President Shen also moderated the China-Africa Mining Cooperation Forum and had discussions with the ambassadors of South Africa and Ghana to China, as well as mining executives.

Vice President Wang Chun presented Zijin’s experience and stories in operating projects in Africa. He acknowledged the time-honored friendship between China and Africa and the continent’s rich resource endowment, saying that China and Africa have had long-term cooperation in mineral resource extraction. He also praised Africa as an investment hub with strong potential. He said Zijin will make new contributions to Africa’s development and the world’s low-carbon transition, which will also create more stories of success and happiness.

During the event, Zijin’s executives had friendly exchanges with government officials and other dignitaries, as well as industry peers, from Suriname, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Ghana, and China.

Translator: Jian     Reviser: Li Yuanxing   Editor-in-Chief: Wang Jie