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Chilean Copper Mining Giant Seeks Joint Venture with Chinese Company

The Chilean state-owned copper firm Nacional del Cobre (Codelco) is seeking a joint venture with Chinese company MinMetals to explore minerals in African and Asian countries.

Local media quoted sources from Codelco as saying on Tuesday that the joint venture will be one of the major steps between the two companies to cement cooperation and seek mutual benefits.

Coldeco, the world's largest copper producer, produces one third of the mine output in Chile.

In 2005, the two companies signed a long-term copper supply agreement and the preference option of selling half of the Gaby deposit, located in the north of Chile, to MinMetals.

China has been for many years the main consumer of Chilean copper and is expected to remain as a major market of copper.

Chile expects to produce 5.59 billion tons of copper in 2008, which represents an 0.6-percent increase in comparison with 2007.

(Xinhua News Agency September 3, 2008)

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