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MMG Ltd, the international mining unit of state-owned China Minmetals Corp, has become China’s preferred developer of overseas projects and is looking at acquisitions beyond its core strengths of copper and zinc, MMG’s chief executive said.

As well as actively looking for copper and zinc projects to develop, “We continue to assess other commodities,” Jerry Jiao told reporters at a Melbourne Mining Club lunch. Jiao said that could include other materials needed for electric vehicles.

China’s government is supporting moves overseas by state-owned industries with a keen focus on commodities in which China is short, said the CEO of MMG, headquartered in Melbourne.

“Minmetals has been selected as a pilot program for SOE (state-owned enterprise) reform – the only one in the metals sector,” he said. “This has now positioned MMG as a preferred vehicle for foreign direct investment into international resource investment in ‘China-short’ commodities.”

Jiao said it is becoming more difficult to make acquisitions, as his firm is chasing the same copper assets that other miners, now cash-rich after fixing their balance sheets, want to snare.

“The competition is getting more severe. It’s just not easy to do what we planned,” he told reporters after speaking at the event in Melbourne.

As a result, MMG may look more towards partnering other companies on the assets it wants to acquire, rather than going for acquisitions paid fully in cash, he said.

Beijing is trying to streamline and modernize its bloated and debt-ridden state-owned sector and create conglomerates capable of competing globally. It has ordered all state-run enterprises to modernize their ownership structures and introduce private capital as part of a far-reaching reform program for its debt-ravaged state sector.

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Name Last Change
DOW 23363.10 0.41%
S&P 500 2578.77 0.27%
NASDAQ 6782.29 0.16%
TSX 15991.79 0.35%
TSX-V 798.77 0.00%

Resource Commodities

Name Last Change
Gold 1295.20 1.28%
Silver 17.29 1.21%
Copper 3.04 0.18%
Platinum 954.00 1.77%
Oil 55.14 0.34%
Natural Gas 3.05 0.88%
Uranium 24.25 N/A
Zinc 1.45 0.00%

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