China’s top metal smelter is making a big push to expand its copper smeltings industry, and the Chinese government has promised to provide financial incentives for companies to join.
The announcement came as the government announced a plan to create a new industry within the nation’s mines.
Chinese copper mining giant Pangzi Corporation said that it would launch the new copper smilling and processing unit in 2019, according to a statement from the company.
It is currently producing 10 million tons of copper a year.
Pangzis current smelters include the Shenyang and Dongfeng plants, which are currently producing up to 10 million tonnes per year.
The new plant is expected to produce between 6 million and 8 million tons a year, according the company, which is located in Pangzhou in central China’s Hunan province.
“We hope to be able to double production and production to 10 to 12 million tons per year in 2019,” said Zhang Zhijie, a senior director at Pangzan, during a visit to the company’s Shenyang copper mine in September.
“This will be the largest copper smithy in China.”
The Chinese government, which has yet to publicly announce plans for the new plant, also promised to “open up” the countrys copper mines to foreign investment.
It has also said that any foreign firm that wants to enter the industry will be required to invest a minimum of $1.3 billion to create the new facility.
China has been one of the most aggressive proponents of foreign mining in the world.
In 2014, Beijing banned mining and smelted ore from the Philippines, citing environmental concerns.
China also announced plans to build a new copper mine near the South China Sea in 2018, which was later cancelled.