Jul. 20, 2006 (China Knowledge) – Xinjiang Non-Ferrous Metal Group is planning to seek a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to raise US$200 million in an initial share offering for its nickel unit, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.

According to a report in the paper, Xinjiang Non-Ferrous will file a listing application in Hong Kong next month and sale of its shares may begin as early as October.

Should the listing go through, it will create China’s second-largest nickel producer by reserves.

At present, China’s largest nickel producer is Jinchuan Group Ltd., which also happens to be the world’s fourth-largest producer of the metal. Xinjiang Non-Ferrous currently supplies about 5% of China’s nickel output, while Jinchuan supplies 90%.

Xinjiang Non-Ferrous is a State-owned company that carries out the mining and refining business primarily in the autonomous region of Xinjiang.

The company’s nickel unit is expected to benefit from the surging prices of nickel. The metal, which is a key material used in the manufacture of steel, has currently hit a record high on global commodity markets.

The price of nickel reached a record high of US$26,850 per ton on Monday.

China’s rapid economic growth is fueling demand for steel, which is in turn creating a greater demand and pushing up prices for nickel.