HONG Kong-listed MMG, a subsidiary of state-owned mining conglomerate China Minmetals, has started commercial operations at the Las Bambas Copper Project in Peru. The project is the largest overseas mining acquisition ever made by the Chinese.

Las Bambas, which was acquired by MMG in 2014 from Swiss mining conglomerate Glencore, is set to produce 250,000 to 500,000 tonnes of copper this year. It is expected to produce up to 2 million tonnes annually over the next five years, while the life of the mine is anticipated to be over 20 years.

Jiangxi sets up global fund

State-owned copper producer Jiangxi Copper has set up a fund that will buy mining projects around the world as the company sets its eyes on potential bargains during the commodities downturn.

It has allocated $100 million through its subsidiaries to establish Valuestone Global Resources Fund I with CCB International Asset Management Ltd, part of China Construction Bank Corp.

By August 4, the fund had $150 million in initial funding and is open to domestic and foreign institutional investors. The aim is to get $300 million in total investment.

Jiangxi has not identified what projects it is targeting, but says the fund will capture opportunities arising from low metals prices.

Jiangxi sources only 20% of its supply from its own mines and says its next step is to focus on international acquisitions.

China Shouguan looking out

China Shouguan Mining Corporation plans to diversify its business range and realise strategic transition in order to achieve sustainable development. This will involve possible acquisitions as well as the sale of certain assets.

The company has not yet located any specific acquisition target or industry.

China Shouguan is a gold mining exploration and development company in gold-rich zones of Shandong and Heilongjiang provinces. The company acquires or leases under-performing mines in major mineral zones, then funds their expanded exploration and production utilising leading technologies.

FMW agreement terminated

China Magnesium Corporation has signed an agreement with Shanxi Pingyao County Fengyan Coal Group to terminate the co-operation agreement with Pingyao County Fengyan Mineral Wool Co Ltd (FMW).

For consideration of RMB100 Fengyan has acquired China Magnesium’s 60% interest in FMW, all rights and responsibilities of FMW, and any profits/losses, including the operating loss of RMB144 million incurred for the period of February 1, 2015 to June 24, 2016.

China Magnesium and Fengyan confirm that ferronickel, stockpiled from February 1, 2015 pending improved commodity pricing, has significantly contributed to the loss.

Fengyan recognises the considerable contribution China Magnesium representatives have made in increasing the flexibility of the FMW plant, including marketing and distribution opportunities.

Blackgold production increases

Blackgold International produced about 200,000 tonnes of coal from its Chinese operations in the three months to April 30, 2016, which was 25.9% more than the three months to April 30 in 2015.

Blackgold has four underground thermal coal mines – Caotang, Heiwan, Baolong and Changhong. The first three are in Chongqing Province and the latter is on the border of Chongqing and Guizhou provinces.

During the six months ending April 30, 2016, Blackgold produced almost 520,000 tonnes from Caotang and Hiewan coal mines, which was 13.3% higher than the total production of 459,006 tonnes in the six months to April 30, 2015.

The company’s trading arm sold almost 1.904 million tonnes in the six months to April 30, 2016, an increase of 4.3%. The trading arm sells thermal coal to customers in China.

Evolution sells Pajingo project

Evolution Mining has agreed to sell the Pajingo Gold Project in North Queensland to Chinese company Minjar Gold for total proceeds of up to A$52 million. The unconditional sale, which includes surrounding exploration tenements, will close on September 1.

It consists of a $42 million up-front cash payment and a 1% net smelter return royalty up to $10 million for gold production above 130,000 ounces.

Minjar is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shandong Tyan Home Co Ltd, a publicly listed company which trades on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Minjar owns the Minjar Gold Project, 550km northeast of Perth, Western Australia, and the Kirkalocka Gold Project, 70km south of Mount Magnet, Western Australia

VanSpar to acquire JD Holding

Sparton Resources’ 89.8%-owned subsidiary, VanSpar Mining Inc has signed a share purchase agreement to acquire JD Holding Inc (JDH) for US$3.3 million. JDH is the parent company for a group of currently inactive companies engaged in manufacturing vanadium flow storage battery systems (VRB).

VanSpar owns used laboratory and office equipment in storage in China, certain patents registered only in China regarding metallurgical vanadium processing techniques. Its subsidiary, Jiujiang Sparton Vanadium Tech and Trade, has a service agreement to provide maintenance services on a vanadium storage battery system supplied to State Grid Xinyuan Zhangjiakou Wind-Solar-Storage Demonstration Power Station. This system was recently commissioned successfully.

JDH has five subsidiaries which, until the end of 2014, had been engaged in energy storage technology development with its main project being the design, manufacture and installation of VRB.

PowerChina signs iron ore agreement

Oceanic Iron Ore Corp has executed a pre-EPC framework agreement with PowerChina International Group Limited, the international business subsidiary of Power Construction Corporation of China, in respect of EPC infrastructure requirements for the Hopes Advance Iron Ore Project in Canada.

PowerChina has a period of exclusivity until November 30, 2016, to complete further technical and financial analysis of the project.

PowerChina will submit an EPC proposal to Oceanic at, or before completion of the exclusive period which is intended to form the basis for a future EPC contract. It will also facilitate the arrangement of project financing necessary for construction of the project.