China’s biggest listed gold producer, Zijin Mining Group, has reported a 29.4% decrease in its net profit in 2015. The company attributes the decrease from 2.3 billion yuan in 2014 to 1.7 billion (US261 million) to declining metal prices caused by a weak global economy.
The mining group, which also produces other metals such as copper, lead and zinc, said in a statement that it aimed to increase production this year as it expected demand and prices to improve for its products.
It expects gold production at its mines to increase by 15% to 42.5 tonnes this year and aims to raise its mine-produced copper by 3% to 155,000 tonnes.
“As gold and other metals are seen as safe haven metals, we expect prices to be well supported with some room for rises this year. Base metal prices are also expected to rebound gradually,” Zijin said in the statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Zijin, which was formed in 1993, is one of many Chinese companies that have made inroads into overseas markets as part of efforts to step up presence globally.
In December 2014 it made an $81 million investment in Canadian miner Pretium Resources before announcing two significant investments deals with Barrick Gold and Ivanhoe Mines. Zijin paid Barrick $298 million for a stake in the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea, and paid Ivanhoe $412 million for an interest in the Kamoa copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.