March 25, 2016 / 1:59 PM / 2 years ago

Zijin Mining's 2015 profit falls 29 pct on weak gold, base metal prices

SINGAPORE, March 25 (Reuters) - Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd , China’s biggest listed gold producer, reported on Friday a 29.4 percent fall in its 2015 net profit as a weak global economy pressured metal prices.

Zijin Mining posted a net profit of 1.7 billion yuan ($261 million), down from the previous year’s 2.3 billion yuan.

The mining group, which also produces other metals such as copper, lead and zinc, aims to increase its production this year as it expects demand and prices to improve for its products, it said in a statement on the Shanghai stock exchange.

It expects gold production at its mines to increase by 15 percent to 42.5 tonnes this year and aims to raise its mine-produced copper by three percent to 155,000 tonnes, it said.

“As gold and other metals are seen as safe haven metals, we expect prices to be well supported with some room for rises this year. Base metal prices are also expected to rebound gradually,” the mining group said in the statement.

Zijin is one of many Chinese companies that have made inroads into overseas markets as part of efforts to step up presence globally.

The mining group now owns stakes in foreign assets such as Barrick Gold Corp’s Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea and Ivanhoe’s Kamoa copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The results statement came after China’s markets closed on Friday. The company’s Shanghai shares rose 0.3 percent, lagging China’s main stock indices.

$1 = 6.5130 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee in Singapore and Meg Shen in Hong Kong; Editing by Mark Potter

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