Case Studies of Australian Businesses in China
WMC Limited, a major global minerals explorer and producer with business interest in 16 countries, has exported Olympic Dam copper cathode to major Chinese copper rod and cable manufacturers since 1999. WMC also has exported nickel to China since 2001.
In the late 1990s, WMC began building key relationships with a view to developing mining joint-ventures; it established a gold exploration venture in Xinjiang Autonomous Region and began exploring for world class nickel deposits in southern China. In July 2000, WMC signed two nickel exploration and mining joint ventures in Yunnan province with government-associated entities. WMC also established a service company in Xinjiang to provide technical, logistical and management support services.
WMC believes China is a promising base metal export market, with expanding nickel use and a shortfall in Chinese production of refined copper feedstock underpinning demand. WMC find that a lack of written regulations and transparency in applying rules and regulations makes doing business difficult. However, WMC is encouraged with the direction of change in the business environment and mining regime and by the strong support Chinese authorities give to foreign investment.
Source: WMC Limited, 2002.
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