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New mine in Tibet to yield 99K tons per year for a globally top copper producer in China

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(, Sep07’23) – A Chinese company, which is one of the world’s top copper mining companies, is to produce an average of 99,000 tons per year of the metal for some 20 years from a currently undeveloped, ultra-large copper mine in Tibet after reaching nameplate capacity, reported Sep 5.

The news followed report that on Aug 21, Zijin Mining announced it was acquiring a 48.591% interest in Tibet Zhonghui Industrial for RMB1.646 billion, or almost US$226 million.

The Zhunuo Copper Mine is situated in Ngamring County of Xigazê City.

A detailed exploration report submitted in Jun 2023 by the Geological Exploration Team 2 of the Tibet Geological Exploration Bureau was reported to show that the mine had 2.2 Metric ton of contained copper, at an average grade of 0.62%, and an additional 1.34 Mt of copper contained in low-grade ores, grading 0.29%.

Zhunuo is a rare undeveloped, ultra-large copper mine, with a shallow orebody that is thick in the centre and thin around the perimeter, the report said.

Located at 4,460 to 5,850 m above sea level, the high-altitude open-pit mining project is touted as a green and intelligent mine site.

The design capacity of its open-pit mining and processing facilities is 24 Mt/y. Excluding the mine construction period, the project is expected to have a mine life of 20 years, with an average copper output of 99,000 t/y after reaching nameplate capacity, the report said.

Zijin Mining is stated to hold controlling interests in Julong Copper and lithium producer Lakkor Resources and is the second-largest shareholder of Tibet-based companies such as Yulong Copper and Tianyuan Mining.

The report said that by the end of 2022, Zijin Mining owned 73.72 Mt of untapped copper resources (excluding those of the Zhunuo Project), ranking 8th in the global mining sector and equivalent to more than half of China’s total.

In 2022, the company contributed 40% of the global net increment in mined copper output, and has claimed to have established itself as the world’s fastest-growing copper producer.

With the addition of the Zhunuo copper project and the ongoing development of the Julong copper mine, Zijin says its Tibet business is poised to become one of the most important drivers for its copper production, further strengthening the company’s copper resource base and increasing its copper output in China, the report said.


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