Jiangxi Copper says in $808 mln Afghanistan deal

HONG KONG, May 28 (Reuters) - Jiangxi Copper Co 0358.HK, China's top integrated copper producer, and China Metallurgical Group Corp will pay $808 million for the right to explore and exploit minerals in a copper mine field in Afghanistan.

Jiangxi Copper 600362.SS said the pair had won the contract for the vast Aynak Copper Mine, as the Chinese companies accelerate a search for minerals abroad to feed the world's fastest-growing major economy.

The contract with the Afghan government grants mining rights in the Central and Western mineralised zones for 30 years, in a move set to boost copper concentrate supplies to the Chinese copper producer.

The mining area has total resources reserves of 705 million tonnes of ores and an average copper content of 1.56 percent, comprising 11 million tonnes of copper metal deposits.

China’s largest integrated copper producer said it would buy at least 50 percent of the copper concentrate products generated upon operation of the mine. It gave no further details.

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In November, Jiangxi Copper said it would form a consortium with China Metallurgical Group Corp to participate in a tender for development of mineral resources in the Aynak Copper Mine.

Shares of Jiangxi Copper have fallen 8.7 percent so far this year to close at HK$17.48 on Tuesday. (US$1=HK$7.8) (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree)