is to spend 3.5 billion yuan (US$566 million) to relocate its main smelting facility in Gejiu city, in accordance with government environmental policies. Of the total, plant construction is estimated to amount to 1.9 billion yuan ($307 million). The long-planned investment was confirmed in a stock exchange announcement on Tuesday.

The world’s largest tin producer will move the smelting facility to Mengzi Economic Development Zone in Yunnan province, where its new copper and lead smelters are already located, and upgrade it to a 70,000-tpy plant. The project will take 3-5 years to complete.

The current plant, which was extensively upgraded with the installation of an Ausmelt furnace in 2002, is located within Gejiu city. Smelters situated within one kilometre of residential areas must be relocated according to the entry requirements for tungsten, tin and antimony industries issued by China’s National Development & Reform Commission in 2006.