China to Increase Demand for Copper, Minmetals Says

China, the world largest copper consumer, will continue to boost usage of the metal as the government increases spending on infrastructure, said Zhou Zhongshu, president of China Minmetals Corp.

China’s 12th five-year economic plan starting in 2011 will create “sustained demand for metallic products,” Zhou said at a mining conference in Santiago today. Copper is used in infrastructure in power cables and electrical wire.

Minmetals, China’s biggest metals trader, will talk with authorities and companies in Santiago today and tomorrow to assess industry investments, Zhou told reporters today. He declined to give any further details on the discussions.

Chile and China will hold talks on investments at a government level, Chile’s Mining Minister Laurence Golborne told reporters today. Chile is seeking to encourage Chinese companies to invest more than the $85 million they have spent in Chile to date, he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Matt Craze in Santiago at mcraze@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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