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Hainan Mining to diversify from iron ore

Chinese iron ore producer Hainan Mining Co. Ltd. is seeking to develop into a diversified mining company through acquisition and exploration, according to Chairman Liu Mingdong.

"The company will accelerate its search for mining projects in and outside of China in preparation for a strategic transition," Liu told investors during a May 26 webcast.

According to deputy CFO Li Zhaowei, the company is seeking to improve its investment and financing capabilities to aid the transition.

"We will build up two main business arms. One is the core mining business and the other is a platform for financing and investment activities in the global market," he said.

Li added that the company is also seeking to develop its existing copper and cobalt resources to improve profitability.

As to its iron ore business, Li noted that Hainan Mining expected to close the main open pit operation at its flagship Shilu mine in China's Hainan province this year and is on schedule fund a transition to underground operations.

"Upon the completion of construction, the annual production capacity of the company's underground operations at Shilu project will reach 4.8 million tonnes," Li said.

Without disclosing a timetable for the construction, Li said the transition will not affect the company's output this year.

Hainan Mining's annual iron ore capacity stands at 3.5 million tonnes. Full-year production guidance is for 3.4 million tonnes, up from output of 2.9 million tonnes recorded in 2016.