China's top nickel producer and third-biggest copper producer Jinchuan Group Ltd is seeking a local listing for its technology unit this year, after it bought a Hong Kong-listed firm for its overseas resource assets, a top executive said on Friday.

Hong Kong-listed Jinchuan Group International Resources Co Ltd , renamed from Macau Investment Holdings Ltd to reflect Jinchuan's takeover, would serve as a flagship platform for the parent's overseas resource assets, perhaps running its overseas resources in the future, said Yang Zhiqaing, the chairman of the listed firm and Jinchuan Group Ltd.

We are trying to get the A-share listing (for the technology unit, in China) this year, Yang told a small group of reporters in Hong Kong on Friday, adding that the unit specialized in new materials for new energy.

Our whole listing plan is designed for 4 units. The first was the back-door listing in Hong Kong, Yang said.

After listing of the technology unit, Jinchuan also aims to seek two separate listings for its metal processing and domestic mining units, Yang said, without providing a timeframe.

The firm operates China's biggest nickel mine in northwest Gansu province.

Yang said Jinchuan Group Ltd would consider injecting some existing overseas resource assets into the Hong Kong unit.

We will be studying how and what assets, Yang said.

As of 2010, Jinchuan Group Ltd had mining projects in 24 countries, including Canada, Australia and South Africa, and held reserve of 1 million tonnes of nickel, 3 million tonnes of copper and 60,000 tonnes of cobalt.

 

NONOC MINE

Jinchuan is studying the details of an investment in the Nonoc nickel mine in the southern Philippines after signing a framework agreement on it in November 2010, its vice president Zhang Sanlin said.

 

Zhang did not provide a price estimate for the acquisition of Nonoc and said Nonoc's existing debt would be arranged before Jinchuan offered a price.

Nonoc was operating from 1975 to 1982 and was closed due to high energy costs. It has the capacity to produce 40,000 tonnes of nickel a year.

In China, Jinchuan Group Ltd plans to increase production to total 650,000 tonnes of nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum group metals in 2011. Of which, 500,000 tonnes would be copper and 130,000-140,000 tonnes would be nickel, chairman Yang said.

It produced over 520,000 tonnes last year, including about 130,000 tonnes of nickel and less than 400,000 tonnes of copper.

Jinchuan would boost its production of base metals and metal products to 1.5 million tonnes a year during the 2011-2015 five-year plan, Yang said in 2009.

To achieve that output target, Jinchuan is building annual capacity of 600,000 tonnes of copper, 100,000 tonnes of ferro-nickel and 20,000-30,000 tonnes of nickel in the southeast Chinese region of Guangxi.