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UPDATED: February 17, 2011 NO. 4 JANUARY 27, 2011
Company Profile: Minmetals Grows an Arm
China's largest mineral and metal giant accelerates its corporate restructuring and seeks global expansion

In 2003, China Minmetals built up its tungsten industrial chain through three moves in Jiangxi Province. On April 17, it signed a contract to invest in a tungsten mine in Xiushui County of Jiangxi, which boasts 40 percent of China's tungsten reserves. On May 18, Nanchang Cement Carbide Co., which processes tungsten products, was founded, with China Minmetals holding a 69 percent stake. On December 28, China Minmetals stretched its tungsten industry to research and development and sales by establishing Jiangxi Tungsten Industry Group jointly with Jiangxi Rare Earth and Rare Metals Tungsten Group Holding Co. Ltd.

China Minmetal's involvement throughout the entire tungsten industrial chain has allowed the corporation to improve its profit ratio for the resource and expand business operations in other areas, said Zhou.

For example, Guangxi Huayin Aluminum Co., with China Minmetals as one of its major investors, had an annual production of 1.6 million tons of alumina in 2007; and with a processing capacity of 60,000 tons, Huabei Aluminum Co., another subsidiary of China Minmetals, is the strongest aluminum foil producer.

China Minmetals has also been actively involved in the exploration of non-ferrous metals resources including tungsten and molybdenum mines in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and other metals reserves in Guangdong Province, and silver and other metals reserves in Gansu Province.

In December 2009, China Minmetals acquired a 51 percent stake in the state-owned parent of Hunan Nonferrous Metals Corp., China's biggest producer of zinc and tungsten.

"The new Hunan Nonferrous Group will consolidate advantageous resources including tungsten, antimony, tin, rare earth, zinc and lead in the province," Zhou said.

China Minmetals has also had an eye overseas in search of resources. It has purchased an annual production capacity of 400,000 tons of alumina from Aluminum Co. of America for a term of 30 years.

In June 2009, China Minmetals took over part of Australia's OZ Minerals for $1.39 billion, gaining access to the world's second-biggest zinc mine in addition to supplies of copper, gold and nickel.

Capital operation

Days after Minmetals Ltd. was established, the Minmetals International Trust Co. Ltd. was officially opened in Qinghai Province. The trust will launch and oversee a mining capital fund, said Ren Zhufeng, General Manager of Minmetals Finance and Chairman of Minmetals International Trust Co. Ltd.

The Minmetals trust will perfect China Minmetals' financial services and become the company's capital platform, said Zhou.

But China Minmetals has benefited from capital operations for a long time. Its first A-share listed subsidiary, Minmetals Development, launched its IPO in 1997 in Shanghai. Now, it has five companies listed in A-share markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen and three listed in H-share markets in Hong Kong. Vice Chairman of SASAC Shao Ning said he hopes the new company (Minmetals Ltd.) will be listed soon. The new IPO plan will surely make already mighty China Minmetals even stronger, said Beijing-based 21st Century China Business Herald.

For China Minmetals, product operation and capital operation are two important wheels pushing the development of its core businesses, said Zhou.

China Minmetals will take three steps in capital operation in the future: First, all the core businesses will go public; second, more mergers and acquisitions will be conducted; and restructuring for state-owned assets will be accelerated, said Zhou.

The recent establishment of Minmetals Ltd. was considered a strategic step toward the listing of its core business, said Deng Xinrong, an analyst of nonferrous metal with Beijing-based Founder Securities.

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