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Zijin Mining eyes boosting overseas profits to 50% of total within 5 years

Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd., which posted a nearly 60% year-on-year decline in first-half net profit despite the gold price rallying during the period, will stick to its "going global" strategy and expects overseas operations to account for over 50% of its total profit in five years' time, according to Chairman Chen Jinghe.

Chen told delegates at the China Mining Congress and Expo 2016 in Tianjin, China, on Sept. 23 that the company is seeking to become a global mining group by 2030, with more expansion plans expected in coming years.

"We will adhere to the strategy of going global and increase profit from overseas operations, which accounts for around one-third of our total profit now, to over 50% in five years," Chen said.

Chen added that one-third of its total resource reserve is located in foreign countries and he expected the proportion to increase in the next five years as well.

"When undertaking a series of overseas acquisition deals in past years, we found that there are many good investment opportunities and assets in foreign countries," Chen said.

Chen noted that he is "very satisfied" with Zijin Mining's C$105 million acquisition of a 9.9% stake in Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., which valued the latter at C$1.36 per share in March 2015. Ivanhoe Mines shares trade at above C$2.00 per share today, Chen said.

Chen remained bullish on the gold industry both in the short term and long term.

Dante Aranda, a precious metals analyst with Thomson Reuters, agreed that the upward trend of gold is likely to extend in the long term, with prices expected to average at US$1,500 per ounce in 2017.

"In the short term, gold prices would reach US$1,400 to US$1,500 per ounce if Donald Trump were elected [as the president of the U.S.]," Aranda said.