Chinese company acquires Canadian copper mine in Ecuador for 4.4 bln RMB

The competitive pattern of China's domestic copper smelting industry is quietly changing.

China's largest and third largest copper producers Jiangxi Copper Corporation and Yunnan Copper Co., Ltd respectively have become partners with China Minmetals Group and Aluminum Corporation of China Limited (Chalco), and now Tongling Nonferrous Metals which is the second largest copper producer has finally found someone to fall back on.

Tongling Nonferrous announced December 29 that its majority shareholder Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Holdings Co., Ltd. have joined China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) and acquired 66.67 percent of the shares of Canada's Corriente Resources with 4.41 billion yuan.

Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group defeated many competitors for the acquisition. According to Reuters news agency last year, companies including Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group, the world's fourth largest copper producer Switzerland's Xstratar Company and the world's largest copper miner Chile's state copper company Codelco all expressed interest in participating in Corriente Resources' Panantza -San Carlos project in southern Ecuador.

Compared with domestic counterparts, the acquisition mode is very similar to an overseas acquisition case by China Minmetals Group and Jiangxi Copper two years ago. Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group first set up a joint venture company with China Railway Construction Investment Co., Ltd., and then acquired Corriente Resources through this joint venture.

Although Corriente Resources is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange at the same time, its main asset lies in mineral assets and mineral interest in the Corriente Copper Belt in southeastern Ecuador.

Now these three companies have found partners, the current pattern of competition in the domestic copper industry has also changed. China Railway Construction which had never been in the mining industry said its Board of Directors meeting held October 27, 2009 has decided to make mineral resources development one of the company's main businesses. This adds another central enterprise in the mining industry.

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