Major Chinese miner says US-led containment is risk to growth

25th March 2024 By: Bloomberg

Zijin Mining Group, one of China’s most acquisitive mining groups, warned that US-led efforts to tackle Beijing’s control of minerals could slow the company’s global expansion.

“The development of the Chinese economy and the Chinese mining industry is becoming more difficult,” Zijin’s Chairman Chen Jinghe said on a media call. The attempted containment of China by developed nations is now commonly understood and Zijin “will be targeted for sure,” he said.

Beijing’s dominant role in mining supply chains — especially in “critical minerals” vital in industries from electric vehicles to military hardware — has led the US and European Union to push for greater reliance on materials produced domestically or by friendly nations. That threatens the growth of Zijin, China’s biggest listed mining firm, which has bought copper and gold mines from Canada to Africa, and expanded into lithium in a bid to become a major player in the battery material.

Chen’s comments come after Zijin on Friday said it plans to ramp up output of all its metals by 2025 through major acquisitions, including of “ultra-large mines or mining companies with global influence.” The company will remain active in its global development, despite “geopolitical tensions becoming increasingly grim,” Chen said Monday.