Zijin Mining to produce 50% more copper by 2028

Cukaru Peki copper mine in Serbia. (Image courtesy of Zijin Mining.)

China’s top copper producer Zijin Mining (HKG: 2899) expects to produce 4% more copper in 2025 than previously planned to profit from the metal’s ongoing price rally, driven by anticipated supply shortages.

The state-owned miner’s new goal is to boost copper production to 1.22 million tonnes next year. It also plans to further boost output to between 1.5 and 1.6 million tonnes by 2028, which represents a 50% increase from 2023. 

Zijin, which is also China’s top gold miner, justified the production forecast revisions to positive market fundamentals and the potential for capacity expansion. It noted it was already working on increasing mine capacity at some of its operations, including the Julong copper project in Tibet.

The company, one of China’s most acquisitive metals groups and its biggest listed miner, intends to expedite the expansion of its Congo and Serbia mines, while also seeking large-scale projects globally.

The company recently said it was planning acquisitions of “ultra-large mines or mining companies with global influence” to boost overall output.

Copper prices are trading near all-time highs as decades-old existing mines have shown it is unlikely they will meet a soaring demand driven by the world’s shift towards green energy. 

Supplies have significantly tightened so far this year following the forced shutdown of First Quantum Minerals’ (TSX: FM) Cobre Panama mine and a guidance cut from Anglo American (LON: AAL), which owns three of the top 10 producing copper mines in South America.