Chinalco Yunnan Copper Resources (CYU) will dispose of its existing projects in Laos and pursue the acquisition of new projects in Cambodia that are either in or near production. The shift if focus is part of a strategic move aimed at achieving commercial production by 2016.

A project review of the company’s existing projects and activities has recommended the Board have a detailed understanding of the current status of each project based on technical information and commercial considerations, in a bid to decide the next steps for each project.

CYU’s managing director Paul Williams says, “The primary conclusion of the review was that CYU should adopt a strategic aim of becoming a producer of copper and/or other minerals within three years.

“This strategic aim is to be achieved by a combination of developing our existing projects and assets and pursuing new project opportunities in China/South East Asia via the Chinese-registered San Mu joint venture corporation.”

CYU’s 51%-owned Chinese subsidiary Yunnan Copper San Mu Mining (San Mu) will dispose of its existing Laos-based projects, as they do not meet CYU’s requirements for a commercial copper deposit due to the projects comprising mostly copper oxide mineralization.

San Mu will commence a review of newly identified project opportunities in Cambodia and also seek out production or near-production project opportunities in mainland China.

Paul Williams says the project review was a valuable exercise. “From a personal perspective the review enabled me to quickly get up to speed with the CYU projects and has enabled the Board to adopt a more focused approach to its future exploration priorities especially considering the level of cash reserves.

“By adopting a strategic aim of being a producer within three years CYU intends to take an aggressive approach to new acquisition opportunities – across a range of geographical regions and across a range of mineral resources.

“With many resource companies struggling to secure project development funding and the major companies embarking on asset sale programs, the next few months could be an interesting period for CYU which is in a good position as a bridge between these projects and Chinese funds,” he says.

CYU will also focus exploration programs at a reduced number of its Mt Isa and Chile projects, after identifying several tenure holdings and projects which will be kept on ‘care and maintenance’ only or withdrawn from in coming months.

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