China merger creates mining behemoth

China Minmetals Co, one of the country’s largest mining groups by asset value and overseas projects, has merged with China Metallurgical Group Co, creating a new conglomerate bigger than the asset value of any of the three global giant mining companies-BHP Billiton Ltd, Rio Tinto Group and Vale SA, Chinese media reported.

After the merger, China Metallurgical, the largest metallurgical engineering contractor and service provider in the country, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of China Minmetals, China Daily said, adding that the company will no longer be directly administered by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.

Before the merger, China Minmetals had overseas operations in 34 countries and regions.

The new company will have 240,000 employees, 29 national-level research and development centers and institutes, and different types of mines sperad across Africa, Australia, Latin America and Asia. It will have mining and mine-related construction projects in more than 60 countries and regions, the report said.

It quoted He Wenbo, chairman of China Minmetals, as saying that the move would help the new company optimize its business structure and further ensure China’s resource security in the current global business and political situation.

“The new company will deploy more resources and manpower to accelerate the construction pace of developing copper, zinc and nickel mining projects in overseas markets to meet China’s demand in these specific mining resources, as well as developing its modern logistics, financial services and equipment manufacturing businesses,” He said.

The combined sales revenue of the two Chinese companies was 430 billion yuan ($65.36 billion) in 2015.

The move is part of the ongoing restructuring of state-owned enterprises. The top two high-speed rail makers and two leading shipping companies have already merged since last year.

 

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