Zijin Becomes First Chinese Miner with Annual Copper Output of over 1 Million Tonnes
2024/01/12 3200
  • Zijin, a major global metals miner, produced more than 1 million tonnes of mined copper in 2023.

  • Fueled by a decade of global expansion and acquisitions, Zijin has been growing rapidly, with significant capacity ramp-up expected.

Zijin Mining has announced a mined copper production of 1.01 million tonnes for 2023. This achievement positions Zijin as the first Chinese company to surpass the 1-million-tonnes milestone and equals 54% of China’s total output of 1.87 million tonnes in 2022.

In addition to copper, Zijin reported a 20% increase in mined gold output (67 tonnes) and a 3% rise in mined zinc and lead output (467,000 tonnes) in 2023.

A Decade of Strategic Expansion

Zijin began to systematically implement its global strategy in 2013, amid low market confidence in the mining industry and cyclical pressures on mineral prices. The company’s copper production then was only about 120,000 tonnes. Faced with tough market conditions, Zijin remained confident and focused and acquired several world-class copper mines at competitive prices. These acquisitions included the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Julong Copper Mine in Xizang (Tibet), and the Bor Copper Complex and the Čukaru Peki Copper-Gold Mine in Serbia.

Through these strategic moves and a focus on innovation and technology, Zijin achieved a compound annual growth rate of 23% in mined copper over the past decade. This growth has boosted the company’s assets, revenue, and market capitalization, surpassing the thresholds of 100 billion, 200 billion, and 300 billion RMB, respectively.

Major Expansion Projects Underway

The company is now accelerating its efforts to ramp up production capacity. The expansion plans for the Kamoa Copper Mine aim to increase its annual production capacity to over 800,000 tonnes, potentially making it the world’s second-largest copper mine. The Julong Copper Mine in Tibet is advancing its second and third phases, with an expected annual output of 600,000 tonnes. In Serbia, Zijin’s development plans target an annual copper production capacity of 500,000 tonnes, to position the company as Europe’s largest copper producer.

Operations in China a Key Driver

More than 40% of Zijin’s copper output comes from its Chinese assets, with the Julong Copper Mine in Xizang playing a key role. Zijin’s strategic investments in Xizang are transforming the region into the company’s largest production base in China. Additionally, its subsidiary Heilongjiang Duobaoshan Copper produces over 100,000 tonnes of copper annually, and the company is advancing its mining project at the Tongshan Copper Mine, to unlock further momentum for growth.

A significant factor in Zijin’s success is its strong technological and innovation capabilities, which have enabled it to turn around previously unprofitable projects operated by Western miners. The company’s commitment to sustainable development has bolstered its reputation among its host countries’ governments and people and earned it top-tier international ESG ratings.

As Zijin continues to expand its global footprint, it remains dedicated to becoming a green, high-tech, leading global mining company. With a solid foundation and a clear vision for the future, Zijin is poised for continued success and growth.

Translator: Jian     Reviser: Lin xinjing   Editor-in-Chief: Wang Jie