Chinese firm says it’s probing case of missing Russian copper

Copper bars in the smelter loaded for rail transport. Stock image.

The Chinese state-owned firm whose shipment of copper from Russia went missing said it’s investigating the matter which involves a monetary value of about 110 million yuan ($15 million).

Wuchan Zhongda Group Co. bought 2,000 tons of refined copper from a Russian company that should have been delivered last month but never arrived, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

In a statement Friday, the firm said it had conducted a preliminary review after media reports about its copper business. The case concerns an international trading subsidiary, it said.

“The company has a sound internal control system that can effectively manage and control risks related to trade operations,” it said. The value involved was small compared with group revenues of more than 580 billion yuan last year, it said, and the incident “will not have a significant impact on the company’s operations.”

The shipment was purchased from a Russian company called Regional Metallurgical Co. late last year, according to people familiar. But the metal was listed as much cheaper granite and has likely ended up in Turkey, according to the records of the shipping line that handled the consignment, the people said, declining to be identified discussing a sensitive matter.


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