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Mining firms join hands in exploration
Updated: 2004-11-22 11:20

Chinese mining company Jinchuan Group would form a joint venture with Australia's WMC Resources to explore for nickel and copper in West China, the companies said Friday.

The exploration would focus on Gansu and nearby provinces and would have a budget of US$6 million, the companies said in a joint statement.

The venture would be owned and funded on a 50-50 basis, with WMC and Jinchuan sharing the cost of any agreed exploration program, the companies said.

¡°We believe Gansu and other provinces in West China have excellent potential for new minerals discovery,¡± Li Yongjun, Jinchuan¡¯s chairman and president, said in the statement.

¡°We have already shown the benefits of Chinese-Australian cooperation,¡± the companies said.

The two parties' cooperation began in 1984 when WMC assisted Jinchuan with the construction of its nickel flash furnace.

They have signed a technical cooperation agreement involving nickel smelting, as well as a five-year nickel supply contract worth about US$1.5 billion at current prices.

Jinchuan's nickel output accounts for 90 percent of China's total production.

In a separate statement posted on Jinchuan's Web site Friday, the Chinese company said it was also in talks with OMG Group Inc. of the United States for a future cooperation.

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