A global responsibility
  ·  2024-04-01  ·   Source: NO.14 APRIL 6, 2023
China's state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have established over 8,000 institutions and projects in more than 180 countries and regions worldwide, employing roughly 1.25 million people abroad. Established in 1983, China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group Co. Ltd. (CNMC) was among the earliest SOEs in the country's nonferrous metal industry to go global, and now operates in over 40 countries. In an exclusive interview with Beijing Review reporter Tao Zihui, CNMC Chairman Xi Zhengping discussed the company's social responsibility and future development plans. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow:

Beijing Review: How do you perceive the significance of SOEs fulfilling social responsibility abroad? 

Xi Zhengping: SOEs like ours have undertaken major projects with effects in key areas such as overseas infrastructure construction and energy resource development.

Our overseas operations strictly adhere to local ecological and environmental laws, regulations and standards, emphasizing green development and fostering harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature. It is essential to effectively fulfill our overseas responsibilities, actively respond to the Belt and Road Initiative, practice global citizenship responsibility in our international operations, and establish a responsible image for Chinese enterprises.

By doing so, we contribute to the sustainable development of local economies, communities and environments. For instance, in Africa, our company has created employment opportunities, supported industrialization processes, invested in infrastructure, provided healthcare and educational assistance, and maintained strong relationships with local trade unions, employees, communities and governments, earning widespread recognition and appreciation.

Beijing Review: Looking ahead, how can your company continue to prioritize innovation and green development? 

We will increase our investment in technology, allocating around 3 percent, or approximately 4.8 billion yuan ($667 million), of our revenue to research and development. We will focus on goal-oriented basic applied research, aiming to overcome key technological challenges and achieve breakthroughs in original and disruptive technologies. 

Additionally, we will expedite the research and application of crucial materials, concentrating on overcoming core processes and technological bottlenecks. Emphasizing the development and industrialization of high-value-added products in new materials, we will drive essential changes in the industry by promoting the application and technological spillover effects of superconducting materials, 3D printing, high-purity materials, and other future materials and technologies.

Our focus will be on utilizing technological advancements to facilitate the digital transformation, intelligent upgrading, and green development of traditional industries. 

For example, CNMC has successfully upgraded old smelting plants, significantly improving their environmental performance and rejuvenating facilities that have been in operation for over 70 years. In Zambia, we have constructed the first digital mine, enabling efficient, environmentally friendly, safe and cost-effective resource development.  

Beijing Review: Could you please elaborate on CNMC's actions and achievements in the field of ecological conservation? 

We have made progress in our green transformation and upgrading, particularly in driving technological improvements. For instance, we allocated nearly 900 million yuan ($125 million) to improve environmental performance at Daye Nonferrous Metals Group Holdings Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of CNMC. As a result, we successfully eradicated emissions from flue gases, achieving environmental improvement. Additionally, we leverage technology and innovation to empower green development.

A prime example is the successful completion and operation of a clean production project at Daye last year. It stands as the nation's first smart and green modern copper smelting facility, delivering both environmental benefits and economic gains.

In the future, with a strong focus on building a community with a shared future for humanity, we will continue to carry out ecological and environmental protection work in the process of the Belt and Road Initiative, effectively showcasing our commitment to green and sustainable development on the international stage.

Copyedited by Elsbeth van Paridon 

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