By Cui Guoqiang
Zijin Mining Group Co., Ltd. released news the day before that the daily-processing 450 thousand tons copper mine project at Zijin Mountain of Fujian Province has completed and put into operation which will make the copper production of Zijin Mining exceed 150 thousand tons this year. From this starting point and coupled with a number of new projects being put into operation, the copper section of Zijin Mining will rise like "blowout" in the next two or three years, leading the industry in China and among the highest in the world.
China is the world's largest copper consumer and importer with its copper imports accounted for more than 40 percent of the world, indicating a very high external dependence. It is under this context that Zijin Mining is also ambitious in terms of mineral copper relying on its leading position in China in the field of mineral gold.
The completion and commissioning of this daily-processing 45 thousand tons of copper project can be regarded as a milestone that indicating the boom of its copper section as one of the three major businesses of Zijin Mining. It is the core project of the great development of copper mine in Zijin Mountain, and is also a foundation project to build a billions-value of gold-copper industry base in Fujian province and a key construction project in the province.
"The more important significance is that this project will become a new model for China's low grade resource utilization," said Chen Jinghe, chairman of Zijin Mining.
Statistics show that the average grade of copper mine in China is 0.87 percent, while the average grade of the copper mine in Zijin Mountain is about 0.4 percent, far below the average value of the country. The completion and operation of the project will improve the utilization rate of low grade resources, and further improve and enhance the economic and technical indicators of mining and selection.
Relevant person in charge told the reporter that the total investment of the project is about RMB 800 million yuan. It was designed, constructed and built by Zijin Mining itself and was successfully completed within only 16 months. The project has a high design level, advanced technology and first-class equipment. For example, the semi autogenous mill and ball mill equipped in the project is the largest in Asia and the key equipment like flotation machine, cyclone and slurry pump are all the biggest in the world or have reached the international first-class standard. In the project, 25 thousand tons use the flotation process and 20 thousand tons use the heap leaching bio metallurgy process. The annual output of copper will reach 43 thousand tons and that of associated gold 780 kg, associated silver 20 tons and sulfur concentrate produced as a by-product 350 thousand tons. The output value will up to RMB 1.6 billion yuan.
In environmental technology, by considering the characteristics of low grade gold copper associated resources, the project mainly uses the flotation process that is characterized as high recovery rate of mineral processing and having the advantages of facilitating the comprehensive recovery of other associated elements like gold, silver and sulfur. In this way, it will not only improve the comprehensive utilization of resources to extend the service life of the mine, but also reduce the environmental pressure and lower the cost of production, making both better social and economic benefits. The completion and operation of the project will make Zijin Mountain one of the important copper deposits in China.
"In addition to the project completed this time, the company is engaging in the construction of the Duobao Mountain copper mine technological transformation project and Congo (Kinshasa) Kolwezi copper mine projects. After the completion and operation of these projects, the overall mineral copper production of Zijin Mining will exceed 300 thousand tons. While reviewing from the data in 2015 alone, the production of the largest copper production enterprise in China in that year was about 200 thousand tons." The person in charge told the reporter this means that after two or three years, Zijin Mining is expected to win the championship of the industry.
In additionally, in recent years, Zijin Mining has also seized the opportunity of mining downturn to stepping up the implementation of resource acquisitions that increased the resources reserves of gold and copper significantly and constantly consolidate the development foundation. It is in last year especially, after the company obtained 54.4 percent equity of Kamoa Holding Limited finally through the acquisition, it became a Chinese enterprise that has the largest reserves of copper at home and abroad.
Statistics show that the Congo (Kinshasa) Kamoa copper mine has a copper resources reserves of 25 million tons with the average grade from 2.3 percent to 2.6 percent which is the world's super large high-grade copper mine undeveloped. If plus the new discovered super high grade copper ore in January this year at the Qaqulllah ore exploration area of Kamoa mine, the resources reserve of the project will exceed 30 million tons of high grade copper, equivalent to one third of China's current copper resources reserves.
"These projects will enable the company to enter into the forefront of the world in terms of the mineral copper production in the future," said Chen Jinghe.