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Zijin Mining Seeking Acquisitions in Africa, CEO Wang Says

Zijin Mining Group Co. (2899), China’s biggest gold miner by value, is looking for acquisitions in Africa, Chief Executive Officer Wang Jianhua said.

“We are seeing some buying opportunities in Africa and are examining related infrastructure development and geopolitical risks there,” Wang said in an interview. “What we are interested in buying are those on the world gold mining belt with big sizes.”

Zijin set aside 4 billion to 8 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) for acquisitions this year, chief financial officer Hongying Lin told reporters at a press conference in Hong Kong today to discuss the company’s first-half earnings. Zijin will seek overseas financing for purchases, she said. The miner is looking to buy gold projects with more than 100 metric tons of metal reserves and copper projects with more than 1 million tons of reserves, Chairman Chen Jinghe said in March.

The gold producer yesterday posted a 1 percent increase in profit to 1.11 billion yuan for the six months ended June. Zijin fell 1.4 percent to HK$2.11 in Hong Kong today.

Gold prices may continue to remain stagnant “until the overall interest rates drop” in China and as demand remains affected by a sluggish property market and slowing economy, Wang said.

Gold for immediate delivery fell 0.2 percent to $1,302.65 an ounce as of 10:19 a.m. in London, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The average price for spot gold in London fell 15 percent last year, the most since 1981, while copper dropped 7.9 percent, Zijin said in its earnings statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Celine Ge in Hong Kong at jge21@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tan Hwee Ann at hatan@bloomberg.net Abhay Singh, Rebecca Keenan

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