20-F 1 ach-20f_123119.htm ANNUAL AND TRANSITION REPORT OF FOREIGN PRIVATE ISSUERS

 

As filed with Securities and Exchange Commission on April 22, 2020

 

  

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

 

FORM 20-F

 

REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019

OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 or 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR

SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Date of event requiring this shell company report _____________

For the transition period from __________ to __________ 

 

Commission file number 001-15264

 

 

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

ALUMINUM CORPORATION OF CHINA LIMITED
(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)
 
People’s Republic of China
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
 

No. 62 North Xizhimen Street, Haidian District, Beijing

People’s Republic of China (100082)

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

Lu Dongliang

No. 62 North Xizhimen Street, Haidian District, Beijing

People’s Republic of China (100082)

(86) 10 8229 8322
ir@chalco.com.cn

(Name, Telephone, Email and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
 
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act.
 

 

Title of each class

 

Trading Symbol

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

American Depositary Shares*   ACH   New York Stock Exchange, Inc.
Class H Ordinary Shares**        

 

 

  * Evidenced by American Depositary Receipts. Each American Depositary Share represents 25 H Shares.
  ** Not for trading, but only in connection with the listing of American Depositary Shares, pursuant to the requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

 

 

 

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act.
None
(Title of Class)
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act.
None
(Title of Class)

 

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.

 

As of December 31, 2019:     
Domestic shares, par value RMB1.00 per share    13,078,706,983 
H Shares, par value RMB1.00 per share    3,943,965,968 

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes No __

 

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Yes __ No

 

Note – Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 from their obligations under those Sections.

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes No __

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes No _

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer Accelerated filer ___ Non-accelerated filer __ Emerging growth company __

 

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. __

 

†The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.

 

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

 

U.S. GAAP __
International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board
Other __

 

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.

 

Item 17 __ Item 18 __

 

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

 

Yes __ No

 

(APPLICABLE ONLY TO ISSUERS INVOLVED IN BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS DURING THE PAST FIVE YEARS)

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed all documents and reports required to be filed by Sections 12, 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 subsequent to the distribution of securities under a plan confirmed by a court.

 

Yes __ No __ 

 

 

 

 2

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Forward-Looking Statements ii
     
Certain Terms and Conventions iii
     
PART I 1
     
  Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisors 1
  Item 2.    Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable 1
  Item 3. Key Information 1
  Item 4.    Information on the Company 24
  Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments 65
  Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects 65
  Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees 93
  Item 7.    Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions 104
  Item 8. Financial Information 116
  Item 9. The Offer and Listing 117
  Item 10. Additional Information 117
  Item 11.    Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk 130
  Item 12. Description of Securities Other Than Equity Securities 133
       
PART II 134
     
  Item 13. Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies 134
  Item 14.    Material Modifications to the Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds 134
  Item 15. Controls and Procedures 135
  Item 16A. Audit Committee Financial Expert 135
  Item 16B. Code of Ethics 136
  Item 16C. Principal Accountant Fees and Services 136
  Item 16D. Exemptions From the Listing Standards for Audit Committees 136
  Item 16E. Purchase of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers 136
  Item 16F. Change in Registrant’s Certifying Accountant 137
  Item 16G. Corporate Governance 137
  Item 16H. Mine Safety Disclosure 138
       
PART III 138
     
  Item 17. Financial Statements 138
  Item 18. Financial Statements 138
  Item 19. Exhibits 138

 

i 

 

 

Forward-Looking Statements

 

Certain information contained in this annual report, which does not relate to historical information, may be deemed to constitute forward-looking statements. The words or phrases “will likely result,” “are expected to,” “will continue,” “is anticipated,” “estimate,” “project,” “believe” or similar expressions are intended to identify “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results and those presently anticipated or projected. You should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements relating to:

 

future general economic conditions;

 

future conditions in the international and China capital markets;

 

future conditions in the financial and credit markets;

 

future prices and demand for our products;

 

future PRC tariff levels for alumina and primary aluminum;

 

sales of our products;

 

the extent and nature of, and potential for, future developments;

 

production, consumption and demand forecasts of bauxite, coal, alumina and primary aluminum;

 

expansion, consolidation or other trends in the primary aluminum industry;

 

the effectiveness of our cost-saving measures;

 

future expansion, investment and acquisition plans and capital expenditures;

 

the severity, duration and spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 pandemic (as well as the efforts to contain it) on our operations and financial performance, the industry we are in, our suppliers and customers, the PRC economy and global economy;

 

competition;

 

changes in legislation, regulations and policies;

 

estimates of proven and probable bauxite reserves;

 

our research and development plans; and

 

our dividend policy.

 

These statements are based on assumptions and analyses made by us in light of our experience and our perception of historical trends, current conditions and future developments, as well as other factors we believe are appropriate in particular circumstances. However, whether actual results and developments will meet our expectations and predictions depends on a number of risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations. These risks are more fully described in the section headed “Item 3. Key Information - D. Risk Factors.”

 

ii 

 

 

Consequently, all of the forward-looking statements made in this annual report are qualified by these cautionary statements. We cannot assure you that the actual results or developments anticipated by us will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected effect on us or our business or operations.

 

Certain Terms and Conventions

  

Chalco,” “the Company,” “the Group,” “our Company,” “our Group,” “we,” “our” and “us” refer to Aluminum Corporation of China Limited and its subsidiaries and, where appropriate, to its predecessors;

 

A Share(s)” and “domestic share(s)” refer to our domestic ordinary share(s), with a par value of RMB1.00 each, which are listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange;

 

ADR(s)” refers to the American Depositary Receipt(s);

 

ADS(s)” refers to the American Depositary Share(s);

 

alumina-to-silica ratio” refers to the ratio of alumina to silica in bauxite by weight;

 

aluminum fabrication” refers to the process of converting primary aluminum or recycled aluminum materials into plates, strips, bars, tubes and other fabricated products;

 

Baotou Aluminum” refers to Baotou Aluminum Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary established under the PRC law;

 

Baotou Aluminum Group” refers to Baotou Aluminum (Group) Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Chinalco;

 

bauxite” refers to a mineral ore that is principally composed of aluminum;

 

Bayer process” refers to a refining process that employs a strong solution of caustic soda at an elevated temperature to extract alumina from ground bauxite;

 

Bayer-sintering combined process” and “Bayer-sintering series process” refer to the two methods of refining process developed in China which involve the combined application of the Bayer process and the sintering process to extract alumina from bauxite;

 

Board” refers to our board of directors;

 

Boffa Project” refers to the project to develop and operate a bauxite mine located in Boffa, Guinea, in accordance with a mining convention entered into by Chalco Hong Kong, Chalco Guinea Company S.A. and the Guinean government on June 8, 2018;

 

CBEX” refers to China Beijing Equity Exchange, an approved equity exchange for the transfer of state-owned assets;

 

Chinalco Assets” refers to Chinalco Assets Operation and Management Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinalco;

 

Chalco Energy” refers to Chalco Energy Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary established under the PRC law;

 

Chalco Hong Kong” refers to Chalco Hong Kong Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary established under Hong Kong Law;

 

iii 

 

 

Chalco Liupanshui” refers to Chalco Liupanshui Hengtaihe Mining Co., Ltd., 49% of the equity interest of which is owned by us;

 

Chalco Logistics” refers to Chalco Logistics Group Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary established under the PRC law;

 

Chalco Materials” refers to Chalco Materials Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary established under the PRC law;

 

Chalco Mining” refers to Chalco Mining Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary established under the PRC law;

 

Chalco Ruimin” refers to Chalco Ruimin Company Limited, our subsidiary until June 2013 when we disposed of 93.30% of its equity interest to Chinalco;

 

Chalco Shandong” refers to Chalco Shandong Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary established under the PRC law;

 

Chalco Shanghai” or “Chinalco Shanghai” refers to Chalco Shanghai Company Limited, our wholly-owned subsidiary established under the PRC law;

 

Chalco Southwest Aluminum” refers to Chalco Southwest Aluminum Company Limited, our subsidiary until June 2013 when we disposed of 60% of its equity interest to Chinalco;

 

Chalco Southwest Aluminum Cold Rolling” refers to Chalco Southwest Aluminum Cold Rolling Company Limited, our wholly-owned subsidiary until June 2013 when we disposed of its entire equity interest to Chinalco;

 

Chalco Trading” refers to China Aluminum International Trading Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary established under the PRC law;

 

Chalco Trading Group” refers to China Aluminum International Trading Group Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary established under the PRC law;

 

Chalco Xing County Alumina Project” refers to the Bayer process production system and ancillary facilities at Xing County, Lvliang City of Shanxi Province with production capacity of 800,000 tonnes of metallurgical grade alumina per year;

 

China” and the “PRC” refer to the People’s Republic of China, excluding, for purposes of this annual report, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region and Taiwan;

 

China Copper” refers to China Copper Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinalco;

 

China United Assets Appraisal” refers to China United Assets Appraisal Group Co., Ltd., a PRC qualified valuer;

 

Chinalco” refers to our controlling shareholder, Aluminum Corporation of China and its subsidiaries (other than Chalco and its subsidiaries) and, where appropriate, to its predecessors;

 

Chinalco Finance” refers to Chinalco Finance Co., Ltd.;

 

CSRC” refers to China Securities Regulatory Commission;

 

Dongdong Coal” refers to Shaanxi Chengcheng Dongdong Coal Co., Ltd., 45% of the equity interest of which is owned by us;

 

iv 

 

 

Energy-Saving and Emission Reduction Goals” refers to the energy-saving and emission reduction goals set out in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development laid out in 2016, in accordance with which China expects to, by the end of 2020, reduce its per unit GDP energy consumption by 15% compared with the 2015 level;

 

Exchange Act” refers to the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended;

 

Euro” refers to the lawful currency of the Eurozone;

 

Fushun Aluminum” refers to Fushun Aluminum Company Limited, our wholly-owned subsidiary established under the PRC law;

 

Gansu Hualu” refers to Gansu Hualu Aluminum Company Limited, 51% of the equity interest of which is owned by us;

 

Gansu Huayang” refers to Gansu Huayang Mining Development Company Limited, 70% of the equity interest of which is owned by us;

 

GNF” refers to Guinea franc, the lawful currency of the Republic of Guinea;

 

Guangxi Investment” refers to Guangxi Investment (Group) Co., Ltd., formerly known as Guangxi Development and Investment Co., Ltd., a PRC state-owned enterprise;

 

Guizhou Development” refers to Guizhou Provincial Materials Development and Investment Corporation, a PRC state-owned enterprise and one of our promoters and shareholders;

 

Guizhou Huajin” refers to Guizhou Huajin Aluminum Co., Ltd., 60% of the equity interest of which is owned by us;

 

Guizhou Huaren” refers to Guizhou Huaren New Material Co., Ltd., 40% of the equity interest of which is owned by us;

 

Guizhou Yuneng” refers to Guizhou Yuneng Mining Co., Ltd., 25% of the equity interest of which is owned by us;

 

H Share(s)” refers to overseas listed foreign share(s) with a par value of RMB1.00 each, which are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange;

 

Henan Aluminum” refers to Chalco Henan Aluminum Company Limited, our subsidiary until June 2013 when we disposed of 90.03% of its equity interest to Chinalco;

 

HK$” and “HK dollars” refer to Hong Kong dollars, the lawful currency of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC;

 

Hong Kong Stock Exchange” refers to The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited;

 

Huaxi Aluminum” refers to Huaxi Aluminum Company Limited, our subsidiary until June 2013 when we disposed of 56.86% of its equity interest to Chinalco;

 

Inner Mongolia Huayun” refers to Inner Mongolia Huayun New Materials Co., Ltd., 50% of the equity interest of which is owned by Baotou Aluminum;

 

IRS” refers to Internal Revenue Service of the United States federal government;

 

Japanese Yen” refers to the lawful currency of Japan;

 

v 

 

 

Jiaozuo Wanfang” refers to Jiaozuo Wanfang Aluminum Manufacturing Co., Ltd.;

 

Ka” refers to kiloamperes, a unit for measuring the strength of an electric current, with one kiloampere equaling 1,000 amperes;

 

kWh” refers to kilowatt-hours, a unit of electrical power, meaning one kilowatt of power for one hour;

 

Lanzhou Aluminum” refers to Lanzhou Aluminum Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary since January 2019, which was previously our wholly-owned branch, Lanzhou branch;

 

Listing Rules” and “Hong Kong Listing Rules” refer to the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, as amended;

 

LME” refers to the London Metal Exchange Limited;

 

MIIT” refers to Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the PRC;

 

MOF” refers to Ministry of Finance of the PRC;

 

mu” refers to a unit of area commonly used in the PRC. 1 mu equals approximately 666.67 square meters;

 

MW” refers to megawatt, a unit of electrical power;

 

Nanchu” refers to ENanchu (http://www.enanchu.com/), a nonferrous metal-related portal site in PRC;

 

NDRC” refers to China National Development and Reform Commission;

 

Ningxia Energy” refers to China Aluminum Ningxia Energy Group Co., Ltd., formerly known as Ningxia Electric Power Group Co., Ltd., before we acquired 70.82% of its equity interest in January 2013;

 

Northwest Aluminum” refers to Northwest Aluminum Fabrication Branch, our wholly-owned branch until June 2013 when we disposed of all its assets to a subsidiary of Chinalco;

 

NYSE” and “New York Stock Exchange” refer to the New York Stock Exchange Inc.;

 

ore-dressing Bayer process” refers to a refining process we developed to increase the alumina-to-silica ratio of bauxite;

 

PBOC” refers to People’s Bank of China;

 

Qingdao Light Metal” refers to Chalco Qingdao Light Metal Company Limited, our wholly-owned subsidiary until June 2013 when we disposed of its entire equity interest to Chinalco. In December 2017, we acquired 100% of the equity interest in Qingdao Light Metal through Chalco Shandong at a consideration of RMB300.4 million to further our prospective strategic layout on secondary aluminum;

 

Qinghai Energy” refers to Qinghai Province Energy Development (Group) Co., Ltd., 21% of the equity interest of which is owned by us;

 

refining” refers to the chemical process used to produce alumina from bauxite;

 

RMB” and “Renminbi” refer to the lawful currency of the PRC;

 

SAT” refers State Administration of Taxation of the PRC;

 

SAFE” refers to State Administration of Foreign Exchange of the PRC;

 

vi 

 

 

SASAC” refers to State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council of China;

 

SEC” refers to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission;

 

Securities Act” refers to the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended;

 

Shandong Huayu” refers to Shandong Huayu Alloy Material Co., Ltd., 55% of the equity interest of which is owned by us;

 

Shanxi Jiexiu” refers to Shanxi Jiexiu Xinyugou Coal Industry Co., Ltd., 34% of the equity interest of which is owned by us;

 

Shanxi Huasheng” refers to Shanxi Huasheng Aluminum Company Limited, 51% of the equity interest of which is owned by us;

 

Shanxi Huaxing” refers to Shanxi Huaxing Aluminum Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary established under the PRC law.

 

Shanxi New Material” or “Shanxi Huaze” refers to Chalco Shanxi New Material Co., Ltd., formerly known as Shanxi Huaze Aluminum and Power Co., Limited, 85.98% of the equity interest of which is owned by us;

 

Shanxi Other Mines” refers to the eight mines to which we entrusted another party to conduct mining activities, including Changjialing mine, Guxian mine, Loufan mine, Nanpo mine, Xishan mine, Yangjiashan mine, Niucaogou mine, Xiwupu mine and Jiaokou Xisongzhuang mine in Shanxi Province;

 

Shanxi Zhongrun” refers to Shanxi China Huarun Co., Ltd., 43.39% of the equity interest of which is owned by us;

 

SHFE” refers to the Shanghai Futures Exchange;

 

sintering process” refers to a refining process employed to extract alumina from bauxite by mixing ground bauxite with supplemental materials and burning the mixture in a coal-fired kiln;

 

smelting” refers to the electrolytic process used to produce molten aluminum from alumina;

 

tonne” refers to the metric ton, a unit of weight, that is equivalent to 1,000 kilograms or 2,204.6 pounds;

 

US$,” “dollars” and “U.S. dollars” refer to the lawful currency of the United States;

 

Xinghua Technology” refers to Chinalco Shanxi Jiaokou Xinghua Technology Ltd., 66% of the equity interest of which is owned by us;

 

Yangtze” refers to the Shanghai Changjiang Nonferrous Metals Spot Market; 

 

Yixin Aluminum” refers to Heqing Yixin Aluminum Co., Ltd., an indirect subsidiary of Chinalco; 

Yunnan Aluminum” refers to Yunnan Aluminum Co., Ltd., an indirect subsidiary of Chinalco;

 

Yunnan SASAC” refers to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of Yunnan Provincial People’s Government;

 

Zhangze Electric Power” refers to Shanxi Zhangze Electric Power Co., Ltd., which owns 14.02% of equity interest in Shanxi New Material;

 

vii 

 

 

Zhengzhou Institute” refers to Chalco Zhengzhou Research Institute of Non-ferrous Metal Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary, which primarily provides research and development services;

 

“Zhongzhou Aluminum” refers to Chalco Zhongzhou Aluminum Co., Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary established under the PRC law;

 

Zunyi Alumina” refers to Chalco Zunyi Alumina Co., Ltd., which was merged into Zunyi Aluminum in June 2018; and

 

Zunyi Aluminum” refers to Zunyi Aluminum Co., Ltd., 67.445% of the equity interest of which is owned by us.

 

Translations of amounts in this annual report from Renminbi to U.S. dollars and vice versa have been made at the rate of RMB6.9618 to US$1.00, the exchange rate as set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board for December 31, 2019. We make no representation that any Renminbi or U.S. dollar amounts could have been, or could be, converted into U.S. dollars or Renminbi, as the case may be, at any particular rate, the rates stated below, or at all.

 

Any discrepancies in any table between the amounts identified as total amounts and the sum of the amounts listed therein are due to rounding.

 

viii 

 

 

PART I

 

Item 1.   Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisors

 

Not applicable.

 

Item 2.   Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable

 

Not applicable.

 

Item 3.   Key Information

 

A.Selected Financial Data

 

Historical Financial Information

 

The following table presents our selected financial data. The selected consolidated statements of financial position data as of December 31, 2018 and 2019, and the selected consolidated statements of comprehensive income (except for earnings per ADS) and consolidated cash flow data for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2018 and 2019, are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report, and should be read in conjunction with those consolidated financial statements. The selected consolidated statements of financial position data as of December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017 and the selected consolidated statements of comprehensive income (except for earnings per ADS) and consolidated cash flow data for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2016 are derived from our consolidated financial statements which are not included in this annual report. Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards, or IFRS, as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board.

 

As the business combination under common control incurred in the years ended December 31, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, the comparative financial data for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 are revised to reflect the business combination under common control.

 

1 

 

 

  

For the Year Ended December 31,

  

2015

 

2016

 

2017

 

2018 

 

2019

 

2019

   RMB  RMB  RMB  RMB  RMB  US$
   (in thousands, except share, per share and per ADS data)
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income Data
Revenue    123,924,333    144,855,997    181,022,636    180,241,414    190,074,161    27,302,445 
Continuing Operations                              

Cost of sales

   (121,408,135)   (133,700,192)   (166,290,269)   (167,029,416)   (177,946,276)   (25,560,383)
Gross profit    2,516,198    11,155,805    14,732,367    13,211,998    12,127,885    1,742,062 
Selling and distribution expenses    (1,798,154)   (2,111,787)   (2,372,966)   (2,496,933)   (1,673,139)   (240,331)
General and administrative expenses    (2,388,276)   (3,337,492)   (4,551,237)   (3,959,177)   (3,956,604)   (568,333)
Research and development expenses    (168,870)   (168,862)   (498,234)   (626,873)   (940,828)   (135,141)
Impairment loss on property, plant and equipment    (10,011)   (57,080)   (16,200)   (46,484)   (259,354)   (37,254)
Impairment losses on financial assets                (107,956)   (169,751)   (24,383)
Impairment losses on investments in joint ventures                (216,953)        
Other income    1,787,774    155,576    89,873    135,367    79,469    11,415 
Other gains, net    5,027,661    169,200    319,402    921,904    1,247,269    179,159 
Operating profit from continuing operations    4,966,322    5,805,360    7,703,005    6,814,893    6,454,947    927,194 
Finance costs, net    (5,167,030)   (4,204,179)   (4,496,732)   (4,390,262)   (4,660,028)   (669,371)
Operating (loss)/profit from continuing operations less finance costs    (200,708)   1,601,181    3,206,273    2,424,631    1,794,919    257,823 
Share of profits and losses of joint ventures    23,238    (95,508)   8,151    (199,452)   270,115    38,800 
Share of profits and losses of associates    284,531    115,091    (165,249)   39,335    48,767    7,005 
Profit before income tax from continuing operations    107,061    1,620,764    3,049,175    2,264,514    2,113,801    303,628 
Income tax (expense)/benefit from continuing operations    226,220    (403,871)   (643,706)   (822,519)   (625,720)   (89,879)
Profit for the year from continuing operations    333,281    1,216,893    2,405,469    1,441,995    1,488,081    213,749 
Profit per share from continuing operations    0.01    0.02    0.09    0.03    0.04    0.01 
Discontinued operation (loss)/profit for the year from discontinued operation                         
Profit for the year    333,281    1,216,893    2,405,469    1,441,995    1,488,081    213,749 
Profit attributable to:                              
Owners of the parent    118,241    365,800    1,413,221    707,460    850,999    122,238 
Non-controlling interests    215,040    851,093    992,248    734,535    637,082    91,511 
Dividends                         
Basic and diluted earnings per share    0.01    0.02    0.09    0.03    0.04    0.01 
Number of shares as adjusted    14,903,798,236    14,903,798,236    14,903,798,236    16,842,713,738    17,022,672,951    17,022,672,951 
Earnings per ADS    0.20    0.61    2.19    0.92    0.94    0.14 
Dividends (expressed in RMB and US$ per share and per ADS)                              
Final dividends per share                         
Final dividends per ADS                         
Proposed dividends per share                         
Proposed dividends per ADS                         

 

 2 
 

 

 

  

As of December 31,

  

2015

 

2016

 

2017

 

2018 

 

2019

 

2019

   RMB  RMB  RMB  RMB  RMB  US$
   (in thousands, except per share and per ADS data)
Consolidated Statements of Financial Position Data
Total current assets    64,769,931    66,871,453    68,651,323    58,901,463    48,713,752    6,997,293 
Total non-current assets    128,285,844    124,569,119    131,304,053    142,063,288    154,356,912    22,171,983 
Total assets    193,055,775    191,440,572    199,955,376    200,964,751    203,070,664    29,169,276 
Total current liabilities    82,476,318    83,761,221    90,436,239    74,836,777    69,169,728    9,935,610 
Total non-current liabilities    58,496,815    51,670,923    43,737,107    58,458,355    63,175,876    9,074,647 
Total liabilities    140,973,133    135,432,144    134,173,346    133,295,132    132,345,604    19,010,257 
Net assets    52,082,642    56,008,428    65,782,030    67,669,619    70,725,060    10,159,019 
Long-term interest bearing loans and borrowings (excluding current portion)    54,065,874    47,376,748    40,289,703    54,207,386    59,243,563    8,509,805 
Capital stock    14,903,798    14,903,798    14,903,798    14,903,798    17,022,673    2,445,154 

 

  

For the Year Ended December 31, 

  

2015

 

2016

 

2017

 

2018

 

2019

 

2019

   RMB  RMB  RMB  RMB  RMB  US$
   (in thousands)
Other Financial Data
Net cash flows generated from operating activities    7,339,551    11,609,110    13,207,140    13,032,076    12,473,489    1,791,705 
Net cash flows (used in)/generated from investing activities    2,388,947    (2,638,951)   (5,598,131)   (5,529,105)   (13,392,301)   (1,923,684)
Net cash flows generated from/(used in) financing activities    (5,442,080)   (6,093,612)   (3,387,111)   (16,280,606)   (10,474,035)   (1,504,501)
Net increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents    4,286,418    2,876,547    4,221,898    (8,777,635)   (11,392,847)   (1,636,480)

 

B.Capitalization and Indebtedness

 

Not applicable.

 

C.Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

 

Not applicable.

 

D.Risk Factors

 

Our business and financial condition and results of operations are subject to various changing business, competitive, economic, political and social conditions in China and worldwide. In addition to the factors discussed elsewhere in this annual report, the following are some of the important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statements.

 

3 

 

 

Our business may be materially and adversely affected by the recent outbreak of COVID-19.  

 

Since the end of 2019, COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel strain of coronavirus, has spread in China and globally, and the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic in March 2020. The COVID-19 outbreak has led the governments and other authorities around the world, including China, to impose measures intended to control its spread, including quarantines, restrictions on travel and public gatherings, temporary closure of certain businesses and facilities. While still evolving, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as efforts to contain it, has caused significant economic and financial disruptions around the world, including disruption on manufacturing operations, logistics and global supply chains and significant volatility and disruption of financial markets. Although currently in China, many restrictions have been lifted and the level of business activities are being restored in response to the significant decrease of new reported cases in China, the above mentioned conditions may continue and worsen globally in the near or longer term. The COVID-19 outbreak could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Due to the outbreak and governmental control measures imposed to contain virus spread, we experienced temporary restrains on our operations, such as temporary interruptions on transportation in certain areas in February and some employees’ temporary delay in their returning to work after the Chinese New Year holiday. We have been proactively taking measures to respond to these restrains, including measures to protect the health and safety of our employees, and by far such measures have helped in maintaining our steady production. However, if the virus further spreads worldwide, including in China or other jurisdictions in which we, our suppliers or customers operate or have property or projects, or further control measures are adopted and continue to stay in place in these or other regions, we may face further disruptions on our normal operation, sales, project construction, supply chain and transportation channel, labor shortage and other limitations on our business activities due to restrictions on our employees’ ability to travel, infection of management and employees, suspension or closure of facilities, additional costs arising from precautionary infection control and hygienic measures, and other impacts, which could be material and adverse to our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, the market prices of primary aluminum and alumina have been volatile and significantly decreased since the COVID-19 outbreak. In the first quarter of 2020, the range for the high and low prices for the Australian FOB spot price for alumina and the international cash price for primary aluminum on the LME decreased to a high of US$304 per tonne and a low of US$252 per tonne and a high of US$1,811 per tonne and a low of US$1,489 per tonne, respectively. During the same period, the spot price of alumina in the domestic market reached a high of RMB2,581 per tonne and bottomed out at RMB2,344 per tonne, and the spot price of primary aluminum reached a high of RMB14,700 per tonne and a low of RMB11,310 per tonne on SHFE. See “- Volatility in the prices of alumina, primary aluminum, other non-ferrous metal and other commodities may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations” and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects - A. Operating Results - Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations - Mix and Pricing of Our Products” for information of the historical prices of 2019 and prior years. Such decreases may continue for a prolonged period or further deteriorate, which may, among other things, cause additional provision for our inventories’ value and negatively impact our revenue and profit level. Furthermore, due to the reduction in the downstream business activities resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, demand for primary aluminum have been generally weakened and may further decline, which may result in reduction of our revenue and profit, increase of our inventory amount and other material and adverse impacts on our financial condition and results of operations. We have been closely monitoring the development of the COVID-19 outbreak and evaluating market changes and impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on our businesses, operations and financial performances, as well as actively responding to the possible impact on us. For example, in response to the price volatility of primary aluminum and alumina, we have been adjusting, or may adjust, the structure of our product portfolio, the amount of inventories and our marketing strategies, and we may utilize futures transactions to hedge against price fluctuations. However, there is no assurance that our efforts would be successful, and given that the COVID-19 outbreak is still evolving around the world, its full impact on us may be difficult to predict at this time.

The global spread of COVID-19 has significantly increased economic and demand uncertainty and has fueled concerns that it may lead to a global recession and a significant slowdown in the economic development in many countries including China. Despite the Chinese government’s efforts in reviving China’s economy, China’s economy has experienced a significant slowdown since the COVID-19 outbreak, and there remains uncertainty on how soon economic activity in China will rebound to the level prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The global economy may continue to deteriorate in the future and have an adverse impact on China’s economy, which may, among other things, exacerbate turbulence in commodity market, discourage or disrupt investment and production, increase total inventories of primary aluminum or other products in the industry, bring more uncertainty to the consumption of aluminum-made products and the prices of primary aluminum and alumina, and cause other adverse impacts on the industry we are in. An economic downturn including financial market disruption, or a market perception that this situation may occur or develop, may also cause increase of financing costs, or reduce or even diminish available sources of financing for operation or expansion. In addition, significant financial market volatility and uncertainty may adversely affect the market prices of our ordinary shares and ADSs. Credit risks of customers and suppliers and other counterparty risks may also increase. These factors may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

4 

 

 

There is significant uncertainty relating to future developments of the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on us. At this time, it is not possible to estimate the effects that the COVID-19 outbreak could have on the global and China’s economy, political and social relationships of different countries, financial markets, the industries we are in, our suppliers or customers or our businesses and operations. Our business, financial condition and results of operations could therefore be materially and adversely affected by it. We may also experience negative effects from other future health epidemics or outbreaks beyond our control. These events are impossible to forecast and difficult to mitigate. Any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. 

Our business is vulnerable to downturns in the general economy and industries in which we operate or which we serve. A significant reduction in demand could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Demand for our products depends on the general economy and level of activity and growth in the industries where we operate or serve. Adverse development in economic and market conditions, such as a significant economic downturn or a downturn in the commodity sector or the financial markets, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and the price of our ordinary shares or ADSs. Development of the relevant industries is subject to various factors, including but not limited to market fluctuations of prices of commodities, general political or economic conditions, technology development, government regulations and investment plans and fluctuation in domestic and global production capacity, many of which are beyond our control.

We are unable to predict cycles of the global and domestic economies. Concerns over inflation, energy costs, geopolitical issues, trade tensions, the availability and cost of credit, unemployment, consumer confidence, declining asset values, capital market volatility and liquidity issues have created difficult operating conditions for us in the past and may continue to do so in the future. For example, since 2018, there were continuing trade tensions between the U.S. and China, resulting in increased tariffs and escalating tensions between the two countries. On January 15, 2020, the two parties signed the China-U.S. phase-one economic and trade agreement. It is still unclear when future phase negotiations between the two countries will begin and whether there will be further trade agreements following such negotiations. It is also unclear if future disputes will occur or the two countries will be able to negotiate the issues to restore a mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation. Future actions or escalations by either the U.S. government or the PRC government could have a material adverse effect on the business environment in general, global, Chinese and/or U.S. economic conditions and the stability of global, Chinese and/or U.S. financial markets, which in turn, may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, the PRC government has, from time to time, adjusted its monetary, fiscal and other policies and measures to manage the rate of growth of the economy or the overheating and overcapacity in certain industries or markets. In addition, the global outbreak of COVID-19 and the efforts to contain it have negatively impacted the global economy and financial markets, potentially causing a global recession. For further details of the impact of outbreak of COVID-19 on the general economy, please refer to “- Our business may be materially and adversely affected by the recent outbreak of COVID-19.” As a result, the global and domestic economic conditions or any particular industry in which we operate or which we serve may grow at a lower-than-expected rate or even experience a downturn. Uncertainty about future economic conditions makes it challenging for us to forecast our results of operations, make business decisions and identify risks that may affect our business. If we are not able to timely and appropriately adapt to changes resulting from the difficult macroeconomic environment, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

 

5 

 

 

Volatility in the prices of alumina, primary aluminum, other non-ferrous metal and other commodities may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

The prices of the products we produce and trade, including alumina, primary aluminum, other non-ferrous metal and coal products, have experienced significant fluctuation historically and are expected to continually fluctuate in response to general economic conditions, supply and demand, the level of inventories, interruption caused by unforeseen international or domestic events such as global outbreak of COVID-19, uncertainty of or changes in domestic or foreign laws or policies and many other factors, which are beyond our control.

 

We price our alumina and primary aluminum products by reference to international and domestic market prices, and domestic supply and demand, each of which may fluctuate beyond our control. We may not be able to effectively respond to a sudden fluctuation in alumina or primary aluminum prices. For example, due to the general slowdown of the global economy and overcapacity of global aluminum industry beginning in 2015, the range for the high and low prices for the Australian FOB spot price for alumina and the international cash price for primary aluminum on the LME declined in 2016 to a high of US$350.5 per tonne and a low of US$197.0 per tonne and a high of US$1,778 per tonne and a low of US$1,449 per tonne, respectively. However, due to global economic recovery and adjustment of production capacity in the PRC primary aluminum industry as a result of the supply-side structural reform carried out by the PRC government, the range for the high and low prices for the Australian FOB spot price for alumina and the international cash price for primary aluminum on the LME increased in 2017 to a high of US$484 per tonne and a low of US$272 per tonne and a high of US$2,256 per tonne and a low of US$1,700 per tonne, respectively. Due to supply shortage in the global aluminum and alumina market, the range for the high and low prices for the Australian FOB spot price for alumina and the international cash price for primary aluminum on the LME further increased in 2018 to a high of US$710 per tonne and a low of US$357 per tonne and a high of US$2,603 per tonne and a low of US$1,869 per tonne, respectively. However, due to the uncertainties and the sluggish global economy as the result of, among other things, intensified trade and geopolitical tensions, as well as the increased overseas alumina production, and the weak consumption and the recovered and increased production capacity in the overseas primary aluminum market in 2019, the range for the high and low prices for the Australian FOB spot price for alumina and the international cash price for primary aluminum on the LME decreased in 2019 to a high of US$418 per tonne and a low of US$275 per tonne and a high of US$1,922 per tonne and a low of US$1,696 per tonne, respectively. In 2019, the average external selling prices for our self-produced alumina and primary aluminum were RMB2,735 per tonne and RMB13,861 per tonne respectively in 2019, representing decreases by 6.4% and 3.5%, respectively, as compared to the prices in 2018. The prices of the products we produce and trade have further decreased due to the recent global outbreak of COVID-19, please refer to “- Our business may be materially and adversely affected by the recent outbreak of COVID-19” for further details. Furthermore, the prices of alumina and primary aluminum may also decline due to, among other things, decrease in market demand of those products and any slowdown of economic growth in China. Because our prices are affected by a variety of factors, most of which are beyond our control, we may not be able to respond promptly to the fluctuation in alumina or primary aluminum prices in international market or domestic market. There is no assurance that there will not be any further and significant fluctuations in prices of our key products, including alumina and primary aluminum, which may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, since our profit margin for trading non-ferrous metal products and coal products is based on price fluctuations in the short term, we need to make the correct prediction of the price fluctuations of these commodities on the markets to maintain our profit margin. If market price fluctuations on the market do not match our prediction, we may incur substantial losses.

 

In addition, as we generate profit from the differences between the purchase and sales prices of the non-ferrous metal products and the coal products we deal in, significant fluctuations in these prices may cause the value of the outsourced products in transit or in inventory to decline, and if the carrying value of our existing inventories exceeds the market price in the future periods, we may need to make additional provisions for our inventories’ value, which may have a material and adverse effect on our profit level and other financial performance. See Note 12 to our audited consolidated financial statements for information about our inventories. As a result, any significant fluctuation in market prices for these commodities could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

6 

 

 

Our business requires substantial capital expenditures that we may not always be able to obtain at reasonable costs and on acceptable terms.

 

Our plans to upgrade and expand our production capacity will require substantial capital expenditures. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2018 and 2019, our total capital expenditures were approximately RMB10.1 billion, RMB9.1 billion and RMB13.0 billion, respectively. We expect our estimated capital expenditures in 2020 to be a total of approximately RMB13.9 billion. See “Item 4. Information on the Company - D. Property, Plants and Equipment - Our Expansion” and “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects - B. Liquidity and Capital Resources - Capital Expenditures and Capital Commitments” for details of our expansion and capital expenditures. We may also need additional funding for debt servicing, working capital, other investments, potential acquisitions and joint ventures and other corporate requirements.

 

We may need to seek external financing, such as bank and other loans as well as bond offerings, to satisfy our capital needs if cash generated from our operations is insufficient to fund our capital expenditures or if our actual capital expenditures and investments exceed our plans. Our ability to obtain external financing at reasonable costs and on acceptable terms is subject to a variety of factors, such as our credit ratings, financial market conditions and our past or projected financial performance. Rating agencies may downgrade or withdraw our ratings or place us on “credit watch” based on their assessment of a wide range of factors. For example, records of net losses may result in a deterioration of our credit ratings. Although we were profitable in the recent period from 2015 through 2019, we recorded a net loss of approximately RMB17.1 billion in 2014 and have been recording accumulated losses since 2014. Our accumulated losses were approximately RMB2,216.9 million in 2019. We could incur losses in the future, which may adversely affect our corporate ratings and increase our borrowing costs and limit our access to capital markets. Other factors that may be viewed as negative by the rating agencies may also adversely affect our corporate ratings, such as any significant decrease of market price of our products, any significant increase in our level of debt, any negative development in our ongoing or planned projects and so on. In addition, if financial markets experience significant volatility and disruption, it may result in a decrease in the availability of liquidity and credit for borrowers and increase in interest rate or other financing cost. Failure to obtain sufficient funding at reasonable costs and on acceptable terms for our development plans could delay, reduce the scope of, or eliminate future activities or growth initiatives and adversely affect our business and prospects.

 

Our previous adjustments of our business segments and historical results may not be indicative of our future prospects.

 

In 2013, we entered into a new business segment, the energy segment, through acquisition of Ningxia Energy. In the past few years, we have streamlined our existing business to focus on the productions of alumina and primary aluminum. For instance, in December 2018, we acquired 50% equity interests in Shanxi Huaxing through the Shanghai United Assets and Equity Exchange at a price of approximately RMB2,665.2 million from Baotou Transportation Investment Group Co., Ltd. Upon completion of the acquisition, Shanxi Huaxing became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company. The acquisition is conducted for purposes of enhancing our profitability and is in line with our strategic layout of alumina and aluminum business, as the increase of our shareholding in Shanxi Huaxing, an alumina plant, is expected to enhance the synergy with our primary aluminum production in Shanxi, where we have newly added production capacity of primary aluminum. For further details of the acquisition, please see “Item 4. Information on the Company - A. History and Development of the Company.”

 

There is no assurance that we will enter into a new business segment or continue to streamline our existing business as we have done so in the past. Moreover, we cannot assure you that the benefit of entering into a new business segment or streamlining our existing business will be fully realized as expected or at all.

 

In addition, we have experienced growth in recent years. For example, our revenues for 2017, 2018 and 2019 were RMB181,022.6 million, RMB180,241.4 million and RMB190,074.2 million, respectively. However, such performance was driven by a wide range of factors, many of which are out of our control or may not be sustainable or indicative of future growth or performance, such as the prices of coal, electricity and other raw materials. No assurance can be given that our financial conditions or results of operations will be maintained at any level, especially due to impact of the outbreak of COVID-19. For further details, please refer to “- Our business may be materially and adversely affected by the recent outbreak of COVID-19.”As a result, our historical results may not be indicative of our future prospects and results of operations.

 

7 

 

 

Our failure to successfully manage our business expansion, including our expansion into new areas of business, would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and prospects.

 

We have made investments in business expansion in line with our development strategy through organic growth, acquisitions and joint ventures. In addition, we may, from time to time and when we deem appropriate, expand into new industries which we believe have synergies with our existing operations.

 

Our expansion has created, and will continue to place, substantial demand on our resources. Managing our growth and integrating the acquired businesses will require us to, among other things:

 

comply with the laws, regulations and policies applicable to the acquired businesses, including obtaining timely approval for the construction or expansion of production and mining facilities as required under the relevant laws of PRC and foreign jurisdictions;

 

maintain adequate control on our business expansion to prevent, among other things, project delays or cost overruns;

 

accumulate expertise and experience in managing the new businesses;

 

gain market acceptance for new products and services and establish relationships with new customers and suppliers;

 

achieve sufficient utilization of new production facilities to recover costs;

 

manage relationships with employees, customers and business partners during the course of our business expansion and integration of new businesses;

 

attract, train and motivate members of our management and qualified workforce to support successful business expansion;

 

access debt, equity or other capital resources to fund our business expansion, which may divert financial resources otherwise available for other purposes;

 

divert significant management attention and resources from our other businesses; and

 

strengthen our operational, financial and management controls, particularly those of our newly acquired subsidiaries, to maintain the reliability of our reporting processes.

 

Any significant difficulty in meeting the foregoing or similar requirements could delay or otherwise constrain our ability to implement our expansion plans, or result in failure to achieve the expected benefits of the combination or acquisition or write-offs of acquired assets or investments, which in turn would limit our ability to increase operational efficiency, reduce marginal manufacturing costs or otherwise strengthen our market position. Failure to obtain the intended economic benefits from the business expansion could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. In addition, we may also experience mixed results from our expansion plans in the short term.

 

Furthermore, there is no assurance that we will be able to identify attractive acquisition targets, obtain favorable deal terms in any acquisition, secure applicable governmental approvals for any proposed investments, accurately estimate the mineral resources and reserves of these acquisition targets or obtain the necessary funding to complete such acquisitions on commercially acceptable terms or at all. Acquisitions may result in the incurrence and inheritance of debts and other liabilities, assumption of potential legal liabilities in respect of the acquired businesses, and incurrence of impairment charges related to goodwill and other intangible assets, any of which could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. In particular, if any of the acquired businesses fail to perform as we expect, we may be required to recognize a significant impairment charge, which may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. As a result, there can be no assurance that we will be able to achieve the strategic purpose of any acquisition, the desired level of operational integration or our investment return target.

 

8 

 

 

Our joint ventures and strategic investments may not be successful.

 

We may from time to time enter into joint ventures or make strategic investments to grow our business and operations. For example, since 2010, we have participated in joint ventures and strategic investments in coal mining, in line with our development strategy to diversify our product offering and partially offset our future energy costs. In addition, we have acted as joint venture partner or strategic investor in certain projects which engage in primary aluminum and aluminum alloy manufacturing to diversify our product offering, strategically position ourselves along the industrial chain and facilitate our enterprise transformation and upgrade. If our joint ventures, strategic investments or other investments experiences fluctuation in performance or incur losses, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected. For further details of certain of our joint ventures and strategic investments, please see “Item 4. Information on the Company - A. History and Development of the Company” and “Item 4. Information on the Company - D. Property, Plants and Equipment – Our Expansion.”

 

We have non-controlling interests in a number of joint ventures. Although we have not been materially constrained by the nature of our ownership interests, no assurance can be given that our joint venture partners will not exercise their power of veto or their controlling influence in any of our joint ventures in a way that will hinder our corporate objectives and reduce any anticipated cost savings or revenue enhancement resulting from these joint ventures. In addition, whether or not we hold majority interests or maintain operational control in such joint ventures, such arrangements necessarily involve special risks and our joint venture partners may:

 

have economic or business interests or goals that are inconsistent with or opposed to ours;

 

exercise veto rights so as to block actions that we believe to be in our or the joint venture’s best interests;

 

take action contrary to our policies or objectives with respect to the investments; or

 

as a result of financial or other difficulties, be unable or unwilling to fulfill their obligations under the joint venture, other agreements, such as contributing capital to expansion or maintenance projects.

 

In addition, our joint ventures and subsidiaries which operate coal mines were facing increasing risks in recent years. Due to increased market supplies resulting from the increase of the domestic capacity and influx of imported coal, as well as the substitution effect of thermal power by hydroelectricity and other renewable energy, the coal prices generally declined in 2019. If coal prices continue to decrease in the future, the business, financial condition and results of operations of these joint ventures which operate coal mines may be adversely affected.

 

Failure to maintain optimal utilization of our production facilities will adversely affect our gross and operating margins.

 

During the past few years, we expanded the production capacity by completing our construction, upgrading or remolding of some of our alumina and primary aluminum production facilities. If we are able to maintain satisfactory facility utilization rates and increase our production output, this increase in our production capacity would enable us to reduce our unit costs through economies of scale, as fixed costs will be spread over a higher volume of output units. Conversely, underutilization of our existing and newly acquired or constructed production facilities may increase our marginal production costs and prevent us from realizing the intended economic benefits of our expansion.

 

Since 2013, we have implemented flexible production arrangements from time to time for certain alumina and primary aluminum production facilities in response to prevailing market conditions and government policies. For example, as a result of high electricity costs, we have implemented flexible production arrangements for certain primary aluminum production facilities in Liancheng branch since November 2018. In addition, we may increase our external purchases of alumina and primary aluminum for trading purposes to capitalize on fluctuating market prices and to enhance resource planning to achieve cost savings in our production. The increase in our external purchases will reduce our utilization of certain production facilities, but may not result in a proportionate decrease in fixed costs such as leases and depreciation of plant, property and equipment.

 

9 

 

 

If we fail to maintain optimal utilization rates and spread fixed costs over a high volume of output units, our gross and operating margins may be adversely affected.

 

We may be required to record impairment charges in the future.

 

If business conditions deteriorate, long lived assets need to be reviewed for possible impairment. Impairment loss needs to be recognized to the extent that the carrying amount exceeds the recoverable amount. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, we recorded impairment loss of property, plant and equipment of RMB16.2 million, RMB46.5 million and RMB259.4 million, respectively. We also recorded impairment losses of intangible assets of RMB8.1 million and RMB1.4 million in 2017 and 2019, respectively. We cannot guarantee that we will not incur any impairment loss or our impairment loss will not increase in the future due to various reasons including, but are not limited to, strategic decisions made in response to changes in economic and competitive conditions, the impact of the economic environment on our customer base and material adverse changes in our relationship with significant customers. If we record significant impairment charges, our results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

 

Our operations consume substantial amounts of electricity, and our profitability may decline if electricity costs rise or if our electricity supplies are interrupted.

 

Our operations consume substantial amounts of electricity. Although we generally expect to meet the electricity consumption requirements for our alumina refineries and primary aluminum smelters from a combination of internal and external sources, our results of operations may be materially and adversely affected by any significant increase in electricity costs or interruptions in electricity supply.

 

Cost of electricity is the principal production cost in our primary aluminum operations. As a result of the decrease in outsourced electricity price resulting from our negotiation with electric power plants and the adjustments of our production capacity of primary aluminum, including halting the primary aluminum production by Shandong Huayu and Shanxi Huasheng, which smelters used to incur relatively high electricity costs, our average electricity cost per kWh (including tax) of our primary aluminum smelters decreased by approximately 4% from 2018 to 2019. However, there is no assurance that we will be able to continuously succeed in electricity price negotiation or further adjust the production capacity of primary aluminum to lower the electricity costs, or that any factor beyond our control will not result in any increase in the price of electricity. If we are unable to pass on increases in energy costs to our customers, our operating margin, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

 

In addition, interruptions in the supply of electricity can result in costly production shutdowns, increased costs associated with restarting production and the waste of production in progress. A sudden loss of electricity, if prolonged, can cause damage to or the destruction of production equipment and facilities. In such an event, we may need to expend significant capital and resources to repair or replace the affected production equipment to restore our production capacity. In the past, various regions across China experienced shortages and disruptions in electricity supply, especially during peak demand summer season or under severe weather conditions. We cannot assure you that our operations will not suffer from shortages or disruptions in electricity supply, the occurrence of which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our operations consume substantial amounts of coal, and our operations may be adversely affected if we are not able to procure sufficient coal or if coal prices rise significantly.

 

We rely heavily on coal as our energy and fuel source in our operations. As we increase our alumina refining capacity, our consumption of coal will increase accordingly. If we are not able to obtain the amount of coal needed for our production due to a shortage of coal, constraints on coal transportation or any other reason, we may be forced to reduce our production output or suspend our alumina refining operations, which could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. Although we have acquired equity interest in a number of coal mines, we expect to continue to rely substantially on third-party coal suppliers for the supply of coal. Our average purchase price per unit tonne of thermal coal decreased by approximately 12.4% in 2019 from the level in 2018. However, there is no assurance that the coal prices will not increase or further fluctuate. If we are unable to pass on increases or otherwise significant fluctuations in coal prices to our customers or offset price increases through productivity improvements, our operating margin, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

 

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Our business and industry may be affected by the development of alternative energy sources and climate change.

 

Our operations consume substantial amounts of coal. Coal combustion generates significant greenhouse gas and other pollutants, and the effects of climate change resulting from global warming and increased pollution levels may provide incentives for governments to promote or invest in “green” energy technologies such as wind, solar, nuclear and biomass power plants, or to reduce their consumption of conventional energy sources such as coal. A number of governments or governmental bodies have introduced or are contemplating legislative and regulatory changes in response to the potential impacts of climate change. These regulatory mechanisms may impact our operations directly or indirectly through our customers or supply chain. We may have to increase our capital expenditures in order to comply with such revised or new legislation or regulations, and changes to our profit or loss may occur due to increased or decreased demand for our products and indirectly due to changes in costs of goods sold, which may adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

 

In addition, we have invested in coal mining operations. Although revenues attributable to our energy segment accounted for only approximately 3.7% of our total revenues in 2019 (after elimination of inter-segment sales), we might still be affected by any change on the PRC thermal power industry, which relies on coal as main source of fuel. The PRC thermal power industry may be affected by the development of alternative energy sources, climate change and global environmental factors. In particular, pursuant to China’s 13th Five-Year Plan for Environmental Protection, the PRC government plans to continue to encourage the development of alternative energy sources, such as wind power, solar power, biomass and geothermal energy, from 2016 to 2020. As such, alternative energy industries may rapidly develop and gradually gain mainstream acceptance in the PRC and the rest of the world. If alternative energy technologies continue to develop and prove suitable for wide commercial application in the PRC and overseas, demand for conventional energy sources, such as coal, could be reduced. Such reduction in demand for coal could have a material adverse effect on the coal mining industry and, consequently, negatively affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

We may not be able to continue competing successfully in the markets in which we operate.

 

In 2019, we supplied approximately 48% of our total production of alumina to our own smelters and sold substantially all of the remaining self-produced alumina and all of our self-produced primary aluminum to our domestic customers. Our alumina (with chemical alumina products included) and primary aluminum production represented approximately 21.9% and 10.5%, respectively, of total domestic production in China in 2019. We face competition from both domestic and international alumina and primary aluminum producers. Our principal competitors are major domestic refineries and smelters. These producers compete with our alumina and primary aluminum operations on the basis of product cost, quality and pricing. In addition, we face increasing competition from international alumina and primary aluminum suppliers as a result of the elimination of tariffs on imports of primary aluminum and alumina into China. See “Item 4. Information on the Company - B. Business Overview - Competition” for further details.

 

Increasing competition in our product markets may reduce our selling prices or sales volumes, which will have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. If we are unable to price our products competitively, maintain or increase our current share of China’s alumina and primary aluminum markets or otherwise maintain our competitiveness, our financial condition, results of operations and profitability could be materially and adversely affected.

 

Our overseas expansion exposes us to political and economic risks, commercial instability and events beyond our control in the countries in which we plan to operate.

 

We are currently undertaking a couple of overseas projects. For example, we are in the process of construction of the Boffa Project in Guinea. Due to uncertainties involved in the overseas projects, we cannot assure you that our overseas expansion or investments will be successful or that we will not suffer foreign exchange losses in connection with our overseas investment. For example, in April 2019, the Laos government cancelled the exploration rights of the bauxite mines held by Lao Service Mining Co., Ltd., in which we held 60% of the equity interest, as it had not continuously carried out related activities in the past years.

 

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In addition, operations in the overseas markets also expose us to a number of risks including expropriation and nationalization of our assets in foreign countries, civil unrest, acts of terrorism, war, or other armed conflict; shortages of construction equipment and materials; severe weather conditions; social security, public health and safety, labors and construction safety and similar issues; epidemic diseases and infectious diseases; natural disasters; inflation; currency fluctuations, devaluations and conversion restrictions; confiscatory taxation or other adverse tax policies, governmental activities that limit or disrupt markets, restrict payments or limit the movement of funds, governmental activities that may result in the deprivation of contractual rights; lack of a well-developed legal system that makes it difficult to enforce our contractual rights; uncertainties in laws and policies; and governmental activities that may result in the inability to obtain or retain licenses required for operations.

 

Our profitability and operations could be adversely affected if we are unable to obtain a steady supply of raw materials at competitive prices.

 

Historically, the price for bauxite, our most important raw material for alumina production, has been volatile. We obtain bauxite for our operations from our mines and external suppliers. See “Item 4. Information on the Company - B. Business Overview - Raw Materials - Alumina - Supply.” The extents to which we procure bauxite from each of these sources affect the security of our supply or cost of bauxite. The supply of bauxite could be affected by various factors, including geographic conditions of bauxite mines, government policies, market prices and competition, many of which are beyond our control. We rely on overseas suppliers to obtain a portion of bauxite we use for production. Indonesia used to be a major source of our imported bauxite. As a result of the ban imposed by the Indonesia Government on the exportation of unprocessed bauxite and nickel, since January 2014, we have not been able to export the bauxite produced by our bauxite mines in Indonesia for the use of our alumina refineries in China, and our operation of bauxite mining in Indonesia has been suspended since September 2014. See “Item 4. Information on the Company - B. Business Overview - Raw Materials - Alumina – Own Mines” for more details of our bauxite mines in Indonesia. If we exhaust our stockpiles or our procurement of bauxite from external suppliers are interrupted for any reasons, and cannot find an alternative source of bauxite at competitive prices, our financial condition, results of operations and profitability could be adversely affected.

 

In addition, our results of operations can be affected by increases in the cost of other raw materials and other key inputs such as energy. If we cannot obtain a steady supply of key raw materials at competitive prices, our financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

 

Any transportation interruption or any material increase in our transportation costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Our operations require the reliable transportation of raw materials and supplies to our refining and smelting sites and finished products to our customers. Our alumina products are mainly transported by rail or trucks and our primary aluminum products are delivered to our customers primarily by rail. There is no assurance that we can always enjoy sufficient transportation capacity or we will not experience transportation interruption in the future. Furthermore, natural disasters, severe weather conditions and outbreak of epidemic diseases and infectious diseases may cause interruption to the transportation system, which could in turn affect the transportation of our products. Please refer to “- Our business may be materially and adversely affected by the recent outbreak of COVID-19” for further details of the impact of outbreak of COVID-19 on the transportation system. In addition, any changes in fuel prices or fuel supply may be unpredictable and beyond our control. There is no assurance that shortage of fuel will not occur in the future. Any surge in fuel prices or shortage of fuel supply may lead to increases in our operation and transportation costs. If we are unable to make timely deliveries due to logistical and transportation disruptions, or transfer the increased costs to our customers, our production, reputation and results of operations may be adversely affected.

 

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The bauxite reserve data in this annual report are only estimates, which may prove to be inaccurate.

 

The bauxite reserve data based on which we prepare our production and expenditure plans are only estimates that we have developed internally and may prove to be inaccurate. There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities and qualities of reserves, including many factors beyond our control. If these estimates are inaccurate or the indicated tonnages are not recovered, our business, financial condition, and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

 

Our mining operations have limited mine lives and eventual closure of these operations will entail costs and risks regarding ongoing monitoring, rehabilitation and compliance with environmental standards.

 

Our existing mining operations in the PRC and overseas have limited mine lives and will eventually be depleted. We need to perform certain procedures to remedy and rehabilitate the environmental and social impact that our mining operations have had on local communities and the environment. Remediation, rehabilitation, closure and removal of our facilities will incur various costs and are subject to various risks. The key costs and risks for mine closures include, among others, (i) long-term management of permanent engineered structures and acid rock drainage; (ii) closure in accordance with local or international environmental standards; (iii) orderly retrenchment of employees and third-party contractors; and (iv) orderly transfer of the site, its associated permanent structures and community development infrastructure and programs to new owners. There is no assurance that such closure of mines will be successful and without delays or additional costs, in which case we may be subject to increased costs, penalties or other legal or administrative actions, damages to reputation, or even suspension and cancellation of mining permits, the occurrence of which would cause a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Failure to discover new reserves or resources, maintain or enhance existing reserves or resources, develop new mining operations or expand our current mining operations could negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Mining exploration is unpredictable in nature. The success of any mining exploration program depends on various factors, many of which are beyond our control. Due to the unpredictable and speculative nature of the mining industry, there is no assurance that any exploration program that we are currently undertaking or may undertake in the future will result in the discovery of valuable reserves or resources. There is no assurance that reported resources can be converted into reserves. Furthermore, actual results upon production may differ from those anticipated at the time of discovery. To access additional reserves in explored areas, we will need to successfully complete development projects, including but not limited to extending existing mines and developing new mines. There are a number of uncertainties inherent in the development and construction of any new mine or an extension of an existing mine, including but not limited to (i) the availability and timing of necessary governmental approvals; (ii) the timing and cost necessary to construct mining and processing facilities; (iii) the availability and cost of labor, utilities, auxiliary materials and other supplies and the accessibility of transportation and other infrastructure; and (iv) the availability of funds to finance construction and production activities. There is no assurance that any future exploration activities or development projects will extend the life of our existing mining operations or result in any new economic mining operations and such failure may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

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Our indebtedness could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. 

 

We have relied, and expect to continue to rely, on both short-term and long-term borrowings to fund a significant portion of our capital requirements. As of December 31, 2019, we had approximately RMB42,286.7 million in outstanding short-term bonds and short-term bank borrowings (including the current portion of long-term bank and other borrowings) and RMB59,243.6 million in outstanding long and medium-term bonds and long-term bank and other borrowings (excluding the current portion of these borrowings). On March 26, 2020, subject to approval at our 2019 annual general meeting that is expected to be held in 2020, our Board approved to authorize (i) the issuance of debt financing instruments and bonds in the PRC with an aggregate outstanding balance of all bonds not exceeding RMB50 billion (including various issued domestic bonds), and (ii) the issuance of overseas bonds with an aggregate amount of not more than US1 billion (or in other currencies with the equivalent amount), the term of which authorizations will commence on the date of approval at our 2019 annual general meeting and close upon the conclusion of our 2020 annual general meeting. Although we have been managing our debt and assets with the goal of maintaining our debt at an appropriate level, there is no assurance that such efforts would be successful or the level of our debt will be further decreased. Please see Note 18 and Note 43 to our audited consolidated financial statements for more detailed information about our borrowings and recent issuance of bonds and notes in 2020. This level of debt could have significant consequences on our operations, including:

making it more difficult for us to fulfill payment and other obligations under our outstanding debt, including repayment of our debt and credit facilities should we be unable to obtain extensions for any such debt or credit facilities before they mature. Please see “Item 5 - Operating and Financial Review and Prospects - B. Liquidity and Capital Resources” for maturities of our outstanding long-term borrowings;

 

reducing the availability of cash flows to fund working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes;

 

exposing us to interest rates fluctuations on our borrowings and the risk of being unable to rollover, extend or refinance our borrowings as necessary;

 

potentially increasing the cost of additional financing and making it more difficult for us to conduct equity financings in the capital markets or obtain government approvals to seek additional financing; and

 

putting pressure on our ADS price due to concerns of our ability to repay our debt.

 

Our ability to meet our payment and other obligations under our outstanding debt depends on our ability to generate cash flows in the future or to refinance such debt. In 2019, we carried out capital preservation and appreciation businesses by using daily reserve fund for investments such as structural deposits and monetary funds. However, we cannot assure you that such capital preservation and appreciation businesses will be successful or profitable, or our business in general will generate sufficient cash flows from operations, to satisfy our obligations under our outstanding debt and to fund other liquidity needs. If we are not able to generate sufficient cash flows to meet such obligations, we may need to refinance or restructure our debt, reduce or delay capital investments, or seek additional equity or debt financing. The sale of additional equity securities could result in dilution to our ADS holders. A shortage of financing could in turn impose limitations on our ability to plan for, or react effectively to, changing market conditions or to expand through organic and acquisitive growth, thereby reducing our competitiveness. We cannot assure you that future financing will be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all.

 

The instruments governing our senior debt contain a number of significant financial and other covenants that restrict our ability to raise further debt, take certain corporate actions and pay dividends.

 

We issued US$500 million senior perpetual securities at a rate of 4.25% (the “Securities”) in October 2016, through Chalco Hong Kong Investment Company Limited (the “Bond Issuer”) with guarantees to the repayment obligations of the Securities provided by Chalco Hong Kong (the “Subsidiary Guarantor”). Please refer to “Item 4. Information on the Company - A. History and Development of the Company - Senior Perpetual Capital Securities Offering” for further details.

 

The indentures governing the Securities contain a number of significant financial and other covenants. Such covenants restrict, subject to certain exceptions, among other things, our and our subsidiaries’ ability to create, or have outstanding, any security interest upon our or our subsidiaries’ present or future undertaking, assets or revenues to secure any indebtedness which is in the form of bonds, notes, debentures, loan stock or other securities which for the time being are, or are intended to be or capable of being, quoted, listed or dealt in or traded on any stock exchange or over-the-counter or other securities market (“Relevant Indebtedness”) which is issued outside the PRC, our ability to create or have any Relevant Indebtedness which is issued outside the PRC, our ability to create or have outstanding any guarantee or indemnity in respect of any Relevant Indebtedness which is issued outside the PRC and the Bond Issuer’s, Subsidiary Guarantor’s and their respective subsidiaries’ ability to create, or have outstanding, any security interest upon their present or future undertaking, assets or revenues to secure any Relevant Indebtedness or any guarantee or indemnity in respect of any Relevant Indebtedness or to sell or otherwise dispose of capital stock held or controlled by it in any direct or indirect subsidiary of Chalco Hong Kong which is not a Subsidiary Guarantor. These covenants restrict our ability to raise additional funds in the future through issuing Relevant Indebtedness which is issued outside the PRC or creating or having any guarantee or indemnity in respect of any Relevant Indebtedness which is issued outside the PRC and may restrict our ability to engage in some transactions that we expect to be of benefit to us.

 

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The Securities are guaranteed by Chalco Hong Kong. A breach of any of the covenants in the indenture governing the Securities could result in redemption of the Securities at our discretion or an increase of coupon rate if we do not redeem the Securities upon a breach of such covenants. If we default under the Securities in the future, the holders may enforce their claims against the guarantors to satisfy our obligations to them. In addition, such default may result in a default and acceleration of our senior debt and the holders of our senior debt could gain ownership of the capital stock of certain of our wholly-owned subsidiaries (if such capital stock is pledged for such senior debt) and/or enforce their claims against the assets of the guarantors (if guarantee is provided for such senior debt). Consequently, we could lose control or ownership of certain of our assets and operations of the Subsidiary Guarantor or pledgers.

 

In addition to the Securities, in October 2015, October 2018 and November 2019, we issued RMB2,000 million in aggregate principal amount of 5.50% perpetual medium-term notes (the “2015 Perpetual Medium-term Notes”), RMB2,000 million in aggregate principal amount of 5.10% perpetual medium-term notes (the “2018 Perpetual Medium-term Notes”) and RMB1,500 million perpetual medium-term notes with an initial distribution rate at 4.20% (the “2019 Perpetual Medium-term Notes”), respectively, in China. Pursuant to the terms of the 2015 Perpetual Medium-term Notes, the 2018 Perpetual Medium-term Notes and the 2019 Perpetual Medium-term Notes, while any coupon distribution payments are unpaid or deferred, our headquarters cannot declare or pay dividends to shareholders or decrease the share capital, or make material fixed asset investments of our headquarters. Therefore, our ability to pay dividends in respect of our ordinary shares and the ADSs may be limited under certain circumstances.

 

In addition, if these perpetual securities are categorized as debt due to changes of accounting standard or other reasons, or if we choose to redeem these perpetual securities, our total equity may be reduced, which may be adverse to our financial condition or the price of our ordinary shares or ADSs.

 

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The interests of our controlling shareholder who exerts significant influence over us may conflict with ours. 

 

As of December 31, 2019, our largest shareholder, Chinalco, directly owned 29.67% of our issued share capital and indirectly owned an additional 2.39% of our issued share capital through its controlled entities. The interests of Chinalco may conflict or even compete with our interests and those of our public shareholders. Chinalco may take actions that are in the interest of its subsidiaries, associates and other related entities to our detriment. For example, Chinalco may seek to influence our decision as to the amount of dividends we declare and distribute. Any increase in our dividend payout would reduce funds otherwise available for reinvestment in our businesses and thus may adversely affect our future prospects and financial condition.

In addition, we enter into transactions with related parties, including Chinalco and its subsidiaries and associates, which provide a range of services to us, including engineering and construction services, social services, land and property leasing as well as the supply of raw and supplemental materials. See “Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions - B. Related Party Transactions” for detailed information. It would be difficult to find an alternative source for some services that we receive from Chinalco. Our cost of operations may increase if Chinalco, its subsidiaries and associates are unable to continue providing such services to us.

In January 2019, Yunnan SASAC transferred its 51% equity interest in Yunnan Metallurgical Group Co., Ltd. to China Copper, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinalco, with no consideration. As Yunnan Aluminum, an affiliated company of Yunnan Metallurgical Group Co., Ltd., competes with us in the business segments of alumina and primary aluminum, Chinalco, as the indirect controlling shareholder of Yunnan Aluminum and our direct controlling shareholder, issued a letter of undertakings on non-competition to us, according to which Chinalco undertook to start in 2019 planning the integration of the businesses in which Yunnan Aluminum and we compete with each other, and address such business competition within five years. For further details, please see “Item 4. Information on the Company - A. History and Development of the Company.” While we intend to closely monitor Chinalco’s planning and implementation of such business integration and make timely public disclosure about significant progress made, due to the uncertainties involved in such business integration, however, we cannot assure you that business competition between Yunnan Aluminum and us would be addressed without undue delays or at all, or the plan of such business integration or the implementation thereof would be viewed by you or other investors as most favorable to us or our shareholders.

 

We are subject to, and incur costs to comply with, environmental laws and regulations. 

 

As we produce air emissions, discharge waste water, and handle hazardous substances at our bauxite mines, alumina refineries and primary aluminum smelters, we are subject to, and incur costs to comply with, environmental laws and regulations.

Given the magnitude, complexity and continuous amendments to these laws and regulations, compliance therewith may be onerous or may involve substantial financial and other resources to establish efficient compliance and monitoring systems. The liabilities, costs, obligations and requirements associated with these laws and regulations may therefore be substantial and may delay the commencement of, or cause interruptions to, our operations. Non-compliance with the relevant laws and regulations applicable to our operations may even result in substantial penalties or fines, suspension or revocation of our relevant licenses or permits, termination of government contracts or suspension of our operations. For example, in 2019, the local environmental protection authorities imposed administrative penalties on some of our subsidiaries, including Chalco Mining, Shanxi New Material and Xinhua Technology, for emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides occasionally exceeding regulatory standards from thermal power plants and primary aluminum smelters. We have strengthened the rectification of issues in relation to environmental protection and launched the environmental governance projects in 2019, reforming our system for ultra-low emission. However, as the environmental protection standards and requirements may be further enhanced, we cannot assure you that the similar events would not occur in the future, if such incidents were to occur, it could impact our operating results, financial condition and reputation, all of which could adversely affect our profitability and ability to retain existing customers and to attract new customers.

  

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In addition, the environmental laws and regulations in the PRC and other jurisdictions in which we operate continue to evolve. As a result, we may incur significant additional costs if relevant laws and regulations change or enforcement of existing laws and regulations becomes more rigorous. For instance, to comply with the requirement of desulphurization and denitration in China, we were requested to invest in upgrading or remolding certain production facilities. Due to serious haze hovering in certain areas in China, the PRC government has issued and may continue to issue rules and regulations to restrict production of certain industries in certain areas to alleviate air pollution, pursuant to which we may reduce output of our relevant plants from time to time. Further, our overseas expansion projects are subject to foreign environmental laws and regulations. Failure to comply with environmental laws and regulations may trigger a variety of administrative, civil and criminal enforcement measures, including the assessment of monetary penalties, the imposition of remedial requirements and the issuance of orders enjoining future operations, all of which may materially and adversely affect our business operations.

 

We are subject to administrative policies and orders relating to China’s Energy-Saving and Emission Reduction Goals that could adversely affect our production.

 

We are subject to administrative energy-saving and emission reduction policies and orders carried out by the central and provincial governments in accordance with China’s Energy-Saving and Emission Reduction Goals. The MIIT issued the Standard Conditions for Aluminum Industry on July 18, 2013 and updated it on March 3, 2020, which set forth various standards for existing enterprises, including but not limited to standards for environmental protection, energy consumption, and utilization of resources. Although we have been in compliance with the applicable Standard Conditions for Aluminum Industry since its issuance, we cannot assure you that the relevant government authorities will not issue more stringent standards or rules, which may require us to incur additional costs or expenses to comply with these standards or rules, and our existing production may be delayed for facility upgrading or suspended before full compliance with these standards or rules. The occurrence of any of the foregoing could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

 

We are subject to accidents and natural disasters that may adversely affect our performance.

 

We may experience accidents and natural disasters in the course of our operations, which may cause significant property damage and personal injuries. Significant accidents and natural disasters may cause interruptions to our operations or result in property or environmental damage, increase in operating expenses or loss of revenues. The occurrence of accidents, natural disasters and the resulting consequences may not be covered adequately, or at all, by the insurance policies we carry. Losses or payments incurred by us as a result of major accidents or natural disasters may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

 

We have not obtained valid titles or land use rights to certain properties or land parcels that we occupy.

 

We have not obtained valid ownership certificates to certain properties that we occupy. These properties are used primarily for production plants and daily operations management. As of December 31, 2019, the book value of our properties with defective titles is RMB7,315 million, which represents approximately 3.6% of our total asset value. In addition, we had not obtained land use rights to certain land parcels, which we use primarily for our production plants. As of December 31, 2019, the book value of these land parcels is RMB74 million, representing approximately 0.04% of our total asset value. We have applied to the appropriate authorities to obtain the relevant ownership certificates. We cannot give any assurance that ownership dispute will not occur or that third parties will not assert any claims against us for compensation in respect of any use of these properties or land parcels.

 

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Our business involves inherent risks and occupational hazards, which could damage our reputation, subject us to liability claims and cause substantial costs to us.

 

Our business involves inherent risks and occupational hazards. Under our mining operations, we engage or may engage in certain inherently risky and hazardous activities, including, among others, operations at height or on dangerous terrains, underground excavation and construction, use of heavy machinery, mining and handling of flammable and explosive materials, and we are therefore subject to risks associated with these activities, including, among others, geological catastrophes, toxic gas and liquid leakages, equipment failures, industrial accidents, fire, explosions and underground water leakages. Although we conduct geological assessments on mining conditions and adapt our mining plans to the mining conditions at each mine, we cannot assure you that adverse mining conditions will not endanger our workforce, increase our production costs, reduce our bauxite or coal output or temporarily suspend our operations. The occurrence of any of the foregoing events or conditions could have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations. Additionally, we are exposed to operational risks associated with industrial or engineering activities, such as maintenance problems or equipment failures. These risks and hazards may result in personal injury and fatal casualties, damage to or destruction of properties or production facilities, and pollution and other environmental damage. Any of these consequences, to the extent they are significant, could result in business interruption, possible legal liability and damage to our business reputation and corporate image.

 

Our mines and operating facilities may be damaged by water, gas, fire or cave-ins due to unstable geological structures. Any significant accident, business disruption or safety incident could result in substantial uninsured costs and the diversion of our resources, which could materially and adversely affect our business operations and financial condition.

 

We may be subject to product liability claims.

 

Some of the products we sell or manufacture may expose us to product liability claims relating to property damage or personal injury. The successful assertion of product liability claims against us could result in significant damage payments and harm to our reputation, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

We are subject to litigation risks.

 

In the ordinary course of business, claims involving project owners, customers, suppliers and subcontractors may be brought against us and by us in connection with our operations. If we were found to be liable on any of the claims, we would have to incur a charge against earnings to the extent a reserve had not been established for the matter in our accounts, or to the extent the claims were not sufficiently covered by our insurance coverage. Both claims brought against us and by us, if not resolved through negotiations, are often subject to lengthy and expensive litigation or arbitration proceedings, and claims against us may also result in freeze of or restrictions on our bank deposits or other assets during such lengthy legal proceedings. Charges associated with claims brought against us and write-downs associated with claims brought by us could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flow. Moreover, legal proceedings resulting in judgments or findings against us may harm our reputation and damage our prospects for future contract or business awards. 

We face counterparty risks.

 

While we generally sell goods and provide services to reputable customers and evaluate the customers’ credit in accordance with our internal risk management criteria, such as their credit history and likelihood of default, we have limited access to information about our customers and we may encounter difficulties in the collection of receivables in certain countries that we have less experience in our dealings. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that all of our customers will fully perform their obligations under their respective contracts with us, and the deterioration of any customers’ credit or payment conditions may result in those customers defaulting on their contractual obligations, which could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Please refer to “- Our business may be materially and adversely affected by the recent outbreak of COVID-19” for further details of the impact of outbreak of COVID-19 on our customers. In addition, disputes with governmental entities and other public organizations could potentially lead to contract termination if these remain unresolved or may take a considerably longer period of time to resolve the disputes with counterparties in the private sector, and payments from these entities and organizations may be delayed as a result. 

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We may face challenges to our intellectual property rights which could adversely affect our reputation, business and financial position.

 

We own important intellectual property, including patents and trademarks. Our intellectual property plays an important role in maintaining our competitive position in a number of the markets that we serve. Our competitors may develop technologies that are similar or superior to our proprietary technologies or design around the patents we own or license. Developments or assertions by or against us relating to intellectual property rights, and any inability to protect or enforce these rights, could adversely affect our business and competitive position.

 

We may be exposed to claims in relation to the unsatisfactory performance of third-party service providers, and disputes with business partners may also adversely affect our business.

 

We rely on third-party service providers for certain services, including but not limited to mining infrastructure construction, logistics services or warehouse management. Therefore, we are exposed to the risk that our third-party service providers may fail to perform their obligations, which may adversely affect our business operations. In addition, from time to time, we co-operate with business partners to develop our business, including acquiring strategic mining resources or businesses that complement our own business line. Furthermore, we operate certain projects through joint venture arrangements and may enter into further joint ventures in the future along with the expansion of our operations. We may have disputes with these business partners or joint venture partners over various aspects, such as performance of each party’s obligations, scope of each party’s responsibilities, product quality and logistics services. If such disputes cannot be settled in a timely manner, our financial condition and business may be adversely affected.

 

Failure to hire and retain management executives and other qualified personnel could adversely affect our business and prospects.

 

The growth of our business operations depends on the continued services of our senior management team. The industry experience, expertise and contributions of our executives and other members of our senior management are essential to our continued success. We will require an increasing number of experienced and competent executives in the future to implement our growth plans. If we were to lose the services of any of our key management members and were unable to recruit and retain personnel with equivalent qualifications at any time, the management and growth of our business could be adversely affected.

 

Competition for qualified personnel in general is intense in the PRC and other markets where we operate. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to maintain an adequately skilled labor force necessary for us to execute our projects or to perform other corporate activities, nor can we guarantee that staff costs will not increase as a result of a shortage in the supply of skilled personnel. If we fail to attract and retain personnel with suitable managerial, technical or marketing expertise or maintain an adequate labor force on a continuous basis, our business operations could be adversely affected and our future growth and expansions may be inhibited. Please refer to “- Our business may be materially and adversely affected by the recent outbreak of COVID-19” for further details of the impact of outbreak of COVID-19 on our labor force.

 

We may not be able to detect and prevent fraud or other misconduct committed by our employees, representatives, agents, customers, affiliates or other third parties.

 

We may be exposed to fraud or other misconduct committed by our employees, representatives, agents, customers, affiliates or other third parties that could subject us to litigation, financial losses and sanctions imposed by governmental authorities, as well as adversely affect our reputation, business, financial condition, results of operations and ADS trading prices. Such misconduct may include, among others:

 

hiding unauthorized or unsuccessful activities, resulting in unknown and unmanaged risks or losses;

 

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intentionally concealing material facts, or failing to adequately perform necessary due diligence or risk analysis procedures designed to identify potential risks;

 

improperly using or disclosing confidential information;

 

engaging in improper activities or activities that might be subject to penalties, fines or sanctions;

 

misappropriation of funds;

 

conducting transactions that exceed authorized limits;

 

engaging in misrepresentation or fraudulent, deceptive or otherwise improper or illegal activities;

 

engaging in unauthorized or excessive transactions to the detriment of our customers; or

 

otherwise not complying with applicable laws or our internal policies and procedures.

 

Our internal control procedures are designed to monitor our operations and ensure overall compliance. However, such internal control procedures may be unable to identify, detect or prevent all incidents of non-compliance or suspicious transactions in a timely manner, if at all. In addition, we do not have control over the activities conducted on their own by those of our customers, affiliates or other third parties.

 

There is no assurance that fraud or other misconduct by our employees, representatives, agents, customers, affiliates or other third parties will not occur in the future. If such fraud or other misconduct does occur and to the extent that our employees, representatives, agents, customers, affiliates or other third parties are penalized for any of their non-compliance activities or are otherwise subject to any sanctions laws of foreign jurisdictions, it may cause negative publicity of us as a result, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and our ADS trading prices.

 

Cyber attacks and security breaches may threaten the integrity of our intellectual property and other sensitive information and disrupt our business operations, which could adversely affect our reputation, business and financial position.

 

We face global cybersecurity threats, which may range from uncoordinated individual attempts to sophisticated and targeted measures directed at us. Cyber attacks and security breaches may include, but are not limited to, attempts to access information, computer viruses, denial of service and other electronic security breaches. Cyber attacks and security breaches may cause equipment failures, loss of information and limited access to systems. For manufacturing companies, cyber attacks and security breaches may result in the theft of sensitive data, including valuable technical and marketing information, disruptions to operations and breakdown of industrial control system. The economic costs to us to eliminate or alleviate cyber attacks and security breaches could be significant and may be difficult to estimate or calculate because the loss may differ based on the identity and motive of the programmer or hacker, which are often difficult to identify. Further, the perpetrators of cyber attacks and security breaches are not restricted to specific groups or persons. These attacks may be committed by company employees or external actors operating in any geography, including jurisdictions where law enforcement measures to address such attacks are unavailable or ineffective, and may even be launched by or at the behest of nation states. In addition, new and amended PRC regulatory requirements regarding network security and information protection have been adopted in recent years to further strengthen the regulation in those areas, which may require us to devote significant resources to establishing and maintaining our compliance with such new or amended legislation or regulations.

 

Although we have not experienced any material cybersecurity incidents in the past, we cannot assure you that we will not experience them in the future. Due to the evolving nature of cybersecurity threats, the scope and impact of any future incident cannot be predicted. While we devote significant resources to security measures to safeguard our systems and mitigate potential risks, such as deploying network protection devices and performing regular security assessment, there is no assurance that such actions will be sufficient to prevent cyber attacks or security breaches that manipulate or improperly use our systems or networks, compromise confidential or otherwise protected information, destroy or corrupt data, or otherwise disrupt our operations. The occurrence of such events could negatively impact our reputation and our competitive position and could result in litigation with third parties, regulatory action, loss of business, potential liability and increased remediation costs, any of which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

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We are subject to risks normally associated with cross-border transactions, and our export products may become subject to anti-dumping or countervailing duty proceedings.

 

During the past few years, we generated marginal revenue from exports of certain chemical alumina products and also from time to time from exports of certain non-ferrous metals and minerals products to foreign jurisdictions. In 2019, we only engaged in the export of certain chemical alumina products to foreign countries including, among others, South Korea, Japan and countries in Southeast Asia, and revenue generated from such export accounted for approximately 0.55% of our total revenues in 2019. Such foreign jurisdictions and other countries may take restrictive measures, including, among others, imposition of tariffs, anti-dumping duties and other non-tariff barriers, to protect their own markets. The sales of our product in overseas markets may be adversely affected by increases in or new impositions of anti-dumping duties, countervailing duties, quotas or tariffs imposed on our exports. Further increases in or new imposition of anti-dumping duties, countervailing duties, quotas or tariffs on our sales in these markets could adversely affect the exports to these regions in the future. For example, since 2018, the U.S. government has imposed tariffs and other trade barriers on products imported from China, which elicited retaliatory tariff increases by the PRC government on the U.S. products. Since October 1, 2018, the U.S. government had imposed a 10% tariff on various aluminum products imported from China, including chemical alumina products. Starting from May 2019, this tariff rate was increased to 25%. In 2019, we exported 22,662 tonnes of chemical alumina products to the United States, which decreased by more than 10% compared to 2018 due to the tariff increase. The revenue from our export to the United States represented less than 0.1% of our total revenues in both 2018 and 2019. Other than exports of chemical alumina products, we did not have any exports to the United States in 2019. There is no assurance that such export volume of chemical alumina products will not further decrease in the future. In addition, such trade frictions and tariffs involved, as well as the sluggish global economy in 2019 and early 2020 in general, may decrease China’s aluminum export to the United States and other countries and reduce global aluminum consumption, which could in turn has a material adverse effect on the demand of our products as well as our business, financial condition and results of operations. On January 15, 2020, the PRC government and the U.S. government entered into the U.S.-China Phase One trade deal agreement. However, it is not yet clear what further actions the U.S. government and the PRC government may take. There is no assurance that a broader trade agreement would be successfully negotiated between the U.S. and China, or no additional tariffs or other trade barriers would be imposed. If there is any escalation in trade frictions, we cannot assure you whether such development would not have a material adverse effect on the business environment in general, global economic conditions and the stability of global financial markets. Any of these factors affected by the developments in trade barriers could in turn have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

By virtue of our transactions with parties outside the PRC, we will be subject to the risks normally associated with cross-border business transactions and activities. We will also be exposed to the risk of changes in social, legal, political and economic conditions in the foreign jurisdictions. In particular, unexpected changes in regulatory requirements, tariffs and other trade barriers and price or exchange controls could limit our operations and make the repatriation of profits difficult.

 

Our operations are affected by a number of risks relating to conducting business in the PRC.

 

As most of our assets and operations are located in the PRC, we are subject to a number of risks relating to conducting business in the PRC, including the following:

 

The central and local PRC government continues to exercise a substantial degree of control and influence over the aluminum industry in China and shape the structure and development of the industry through the imposition of industry policies governing major project approvals and safety, environmental and quality regulations. If the PRC government changes its current policies or the interpretation of those policies that are currently beneficial to us, we may face pressure on profit margins and significant constraints on our ability to expand our business operations.

 

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Although the PRC has been one of the world’s fastest growing economies in terms of GDP growth in the past 30 years, the global financial crisis that unfolded in 2008, coupled with the on-going structural adjustment of the PRC economy in the past few years, has led to a marked slowdown in the economic growth of the PRC. For example, the GDP growth rate of the PRC decreased from 11.4% in 2007 to 6.1% in 2019. There is no assurance that the GDP growth rate of the PRC will be maintained at the current level. In addition, the outbreak and global spread of the COVID-19 in 2020 may adversely affect global and China’s economy and financial market in general. Please refer to “- Our business may be materially and adversely affected by the recent outbreak of COVID-19” for further details of the impact of the outbreak of COVID-19. A slowdown or decline in the PRC economy could reduce business activities and demand for our products. In addition, the PRC government exercises control over China’s economic growth through the allocation of resources, control of payments of obligations denominated in foreign currencies and monetary and tax policies. Some of these measures benefit the overall economy of China, but may have a materially adverse impact on us.

 

We are subject to reviews and inspections by various governmental authorities and regulatory agencies. These reviews and inspections could cover a broad range of aspects in relation to our business and operations, including financial reporting, tax reporting, internal control and compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. We cannot predict the impact of any findings of these reviews and inspections to be carried out by governmental authorities and regulatory agencies in the future, and we cannot assure you that the outcome of any such reviews and inspections would not have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

 

In 2005, China adopted a managed floating exchange rate system to allow the value of the Renminbi to fluctuate within a regulated band based on supply and demand with reference to a basket of currencies. Since then the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and Renminbi has fluctuated and become increasingly unpredictable following the global financial crisis. In April 2012, the PRC government took a milestone step in turning the Renminbi into a global currency by doubling the size of its trading band against the U.S. dollar to 1%, pushing through a crucial reform that further liberalizes its financial markets. The PBOC further allows the Renminbi trading band against the U.S. dollar to rise or fall 2% from a mid-point every day, effective on March 17, 2014, compared with its previous 1% limit. In August 2015, the PBOC announced that the daily central parity quotes the market-makers reported to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System operated by the PBOC before the market opens should be based on the closing rate of the inter-bank foreign exchange rate market on the previous day, supply and demand in the market, and price movement of major currencies, effective on August 11, 2015. In recent years, the Renminbi has fluctuated against the U.S. dollar, at times significantly. It is difficult to predict how market forces or PRC or U.S. government policy may impact the exchange rate between the Renminbi and the U.S. dollar in the future. Any appreciation or depreciation of the Renminbi will affect the value of our U.S. dollar-denominated borrowings and overseas investments, the prices of our export sales denominated in foreign currencies and the Renminbi equivalent value of our trade and notes receivable denominated in foreign currencies, which may affect our financial condition and results of operations. Our financial condition and operating performance may also be affected by changes in the value of currencies other than Renminbi in which our earnings and obligations are denominated.

 

There might be uncertainties regarding the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws, rules and regulations. The Chinese legal system is a civil law system based on written statutes. Unlike common law systems, it is a system in which decided legal cases may be cited for reference but have limited precedential value. Over the past decades, the PRC government has promulgated a comprehensive system of laws, rules and regulations governing economic matters. However, because these laws, rules and regulations are relatively new, and because of the relatively limited volume of published cases and their non-binding nature, and because the laws, rules and regulations often give the relevant administrative and court authorities certain discretion in how to interpret and enforce them, uncertainties regarding the interpretation and enforcement of these laws, rules and regulations may adversely affect our operations.

 

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You may experience difficulties in effecting service of legal process and enforcing judgments against us and our management, and the ability of U.S. authorities to bring actions in the PRC may also be limited.

 

Most of our assets and our subsidiaries are located in the PRC. In addition, most of our directors and officers reside within the PRC, and most of the assets of our directors and officers are located within the PRC. As a result, it may not be possible to effect service of process within the United States or elsewhere outside the PRC upon most of our directors or officers, including with respect to matters arising under applicable laws and regulations. Moreover, the PRC does not have treaties providing for the reciprocal recognition and enforcement of judgments of courts with the United States, the United Kingdom or most other Western countries, and Hong Kong has no arrangement for the reciprocal enforcement of judgments with the United States.

 

As a result, recognition and enforcement in the PRC or Hong Kong of judgments of a court in the United States and any of the other jurisdictions mentioned above in relation to any matter not subject to a binding arbitration provision may be difficult or impossible. Even if you sue successfully in a U.S. court or any of the other jurisdictions mentioned above, you may not be able to collect on such judgment against us or our directors and officers. In addition, the SEC, the U.S. Department of Justice and other U.S. authorities may also have difficulties in bringing and enforcing actions against us or our directors or officers in the PRC. Furthermore, class action lawsuits, which are available in the United States for investors to seek remedies, are generally uncommon in the PRC.

 

The audit reports included in this annual report are prepared by auditors who are not inspected fully by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and, as such, you are deprived of the benefits of such inspection.

 

Auditors of companies that are registered with the SEC and traded publicly in the United States, including our independent registered public accounting firms, must be registered with the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (the “PCAOB”) and are required by the laws of the United States to undergo regular inspections by the PCAOB to assess their compliance with the laws of the United States and professional standards. Because we have substantial operations within the PRC and the PCAOB is currently unable to conduct full inspections of the work of our auditors as they relate to those operations without the approval of the Chinese authorities, our auditors’ work related to our operations in China is not currently inspected by the PCAOB.

 

This lack of PCAOB inspections of audit work performed in China prevents the PCAOB from regularly evaluating audit work of any auditor that was performed in China including that performed by our auditors. As a result, investors may be deprived of the full benefits of PCAOB inspections.

 

On December 7, 2018, the SEC and the PCAOB issued a joint statement highlighting continued challenges faced by the U.S. regulators in their oversight of financial statement audits of U.S.-listed companies with significant operations in China. On November 4, 2019, the SEC announced that SEC and PCAOB had dialogue with the “Big Four” accounting firms, which emphasized the need for effective and consistent global firm oversight of member firms, including those operating in China. On February 19, 2020, the SEC and the PCAOB further issued a joint statement on continued dialogue with “Big Four” accounting firms on audit quality in China, highlighting that PCAOB continues to be prevented from inspecting the audit work and practices of PCAOB-registered audit firms in China on a comparable basis to other non-U.S. jurisdictions. However, it remains unclear what further actions the SEC and PCAOB will take to address the problem.

 

The inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections of audit work performed in China makes it more difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of our auditors’ audit procedures as compared to auditors in other jurisdictions that are subject to PCAOB inspections on all of their work. Investors may lose confidence in our reported financial information and procedures and the quality of our financial statements. As part of a continued regulatory focus in the United States on access to audit and other information currently protected by national laws, in particular PRC laws, in June 2019, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced the Ensuring Quality Information and Transparency for Abroad-Based Listings on our Exchanges Act, or the EQUITABLE Act, in both houses of the U.S. Congress to require the SEC to maintain a list of issuers for which the PCAOB is not able to inspect or investigate an auditor report issued by a foreign public accounting firm. The EQUITABLE Act prescribes increased disclosure requirements for these issuers and, beginning in 2025, the delisting from U.S. national securities exchanges (including the New York Stock Exchange) of issuers included on the SEC’s list for three consecutive years. It is unclear if and when this proposed legislation would be enacted. Enactment of this legislation or other efforts to increase U.S. regulatory access to audit information could cause investor uncertainty for affected issuers, including us, and the market price of our ADSs could be adversely affected.

 

Proceedings instituted recently by the SEC against five PRC-based accounting firms could result in our financial statements being determined to not be in compliance with the requirements of the Exchange Act.

 

In December 2012, the SEC brought administrative proceedings against five accounting firms in China, alleging that they had refused to produce audit work papers and other documents related to certain other China-based companies under investigation by the SEC for potential accounting fraud. On January 22, 2014, an initial administrative law decision was issued, censuring these accounting firms and suspending four of the five firms from practicing before the SEC for a period of six months. The four firms appealed to the SEC against this decision and, on February 6, 2015, each of the four accounting firms agreed to a censure and to pay a fine to the SEC to settle the dispute and avoid suspension of their ability to practice before the SEC. The firms’ ability to continue to serve all their respective clients is not affected by the settlement. The settlement requires the firms to follow detailed procedures to seek to provide the SEC with access to Chinese firms’ audit documents via the CSRC. If the firms do not follow these procedures, the SEC could impose penalties such as suspensions, or it could restart the administrative proceedings. The settlement did not require the firms to admit to any violation of law and preserves the firms’ legal defenses in the event the administrative proceeding is restarted.

 

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We were not and are not subject to any SEC investigations, nor are we involved in the proceedings brought by the SEC against the accounting firms. However, the independent registered public accounting firms that issue the audit reports included in our annual reports filed with the SEC is affiliated to one of the four accounting firms above.

 

In the event that the SEC restarts the administrative proceedings, depending upon the final outcome, listed companies in the United States with major PRC operations may find it difficult or impossible to retain auditors in respect of their operations in the PRC, which could result in financial statements being determined to not be in compliance with the requirements of the Exchange Act, including possible delisting. Moreover, any negative news about the proceedings against these audit firms may cause investor uncertainty regarding China-based, United States-listed companies and the market price of our ADSs may be adversely affected.

 

If our independent registered public accounting firms were denied, temporarily, the ability to practice before the SEC and we were unable to timely find another registered public accounting firm to audit and issue an opinion on our financial statements, our financial statements could be determined to not be in compliance with the requirements of the Exchange Act. Such a determination could ultimately lead to the delisting from the NYSE or deregistration from the SEC, or both, which would substantially reduce or effectively terminate the trading of our ADSs in the United States.

 

Item4.   Information on the Company

 

A.History and Development of the Company

 

We were incorporated as a joint stock limited company under the Company Law of the PRC on September 10, 2001 under the corporate name Aluminum Corporation of China Limited. Our principal executive and registered office is located in the People’s Republic of China at No. 62 North Xizhimen Street, Haidian District, Beijing, China 100082, and our telephone number is (86) 10 8229 8322. Our website address is www.chalco.com.cn. The information on our website does not constitute a part of this annual report. Our U.S. public filings are available at the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov, which contains reports, proxies and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.

 

Pursuant to a reorganization agreement entered into among Chinalco, Guangxi Investment and Guizhou Development in 2001, substantially all of Chinalco’s alumina and primary aluminum production operations, as well as a research institute and other related assets and liabilities, were transferred to us upon our formation. We acquired our bauxite mining operations and associated mining rights from Chinalco in a separate mining rights agreement.

 

Our A Shares have been listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange since April 2007. Our H Shares and our ADSs, each representing 25 H Shares, have been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange, respectively, since December 2001.

 

We are a vertically integrated aluminum producer with operations in bauxite and coal mining, alumina refining and primary aluminum smelting. We also produce ancillary products and services derived from or related to our aluminum operations. In addition, we are engaged in trading and logistics of alumina, primary aluminum, other non-ferrous metal products, coal products and raw and ancillary materials in bulk domestically and internationally. Since 2013, we have expanded our operations into power generation. See “– B. Business Overview” for more details.

 

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We have substantially increased the size and scope of our operations through organic growth as well as selective acquisitions and joint ventures. Our key operating assets currently include six subsidiaries mainly engaged in bauxite mining; two integrated alumina and primary aluminum production plant; eight stand-alone alumina refineries; nine stand-alone primary aluminum smelters; one stand-alone secondary aluminum producer; four stand-alone carbon production plants; one integrated power generation company with coal mining operations and one institute providing research and development services. All of our principal alumina and primary aluminum production facilities are operated in accordance with ISO14001 standards.

 

Private Placement of A Shares

 

On March 8, 2012, our Board resolved to issue up to 1.25 billion A Shares in the PRC. The A Share issue plans previously proposed by our Board on June 30, 2009 and January 30, 2011 and approved by our shareholders at the extraordinary general meeting, A Share class meeting and H Share class meeting held on August 24, 2009 and on April 14, 2011, respectively, ceased. Pursuant to the new issue plan approved by our Board on March 8, 2012, we planned to issue up to 1.25 billion A Shares, with a nominal value of RMB1.00 each, by way of private placement for expected proceeds not exceeding RMB8 billion. We intended to issue the A Shares to no more than ten specific target subscribers within six months of obtaining the approval of the CSRC. The issue price of A Shares to be offered shall be not less than 90% of the average trading price of our A Shares in twenty trading days immediately preceding the pricing determination date. We intended to apply proceeds from this private placement to finance Chalco Xing County Alumina Project, Zhongzhou branch Ore-dressing Bayer Process expansion construction project and to supplement working capital. The issue plan was approved by the SASAC on April 5, 2012 and by our shareholders at the extraordinary general meeting, A Share class meeting and H Share class meeting held on May 4, 2012. On August 24, 2012, our Board resolved to adjust the issue plan by proposing, among others, to increase the number of A Shares to be issued to up to 1.45 billion A Shares. The adjusted issue plan was approved by the SASAC and our shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting, A Share class meeting and the H Share class meeting on October 12, 2012 and by the CSRC on December 7, 2012. On March 14, 2013, we obtained the approval from the CSRC on our proposed private placement of A Shares under such adjusted issue plan, with effective period of six months after the approval date. However, the CSRC temporarily retrieved its approval in July 2013 due to its on-going investigation of the sponsor of our proposed private placement of A Shares. The period of authorization to the Board relating to the adjusted issue plan was extended by our shareholders at the 2013 annual general meeting, A Share class meeting held on June 27, 2014 and H Share class meeting held on June 27, 2014, with an effective period of 12 months after the approval date. On January 4, 2015, we submitted the “Report regarding the resumption of the approval of non-public offering of shares of Aluminum Corporation of China Limited” to the CSRC. On April 24, 2015, we received the Approval in Relation to the Non-public Issuance of Shares by Aluminum Corporation of China Limited issued by the CSRC, pursuant to which we were approved to issue no more than 1,450,000,000 new shares. We completed the non-public issuance of A Shares on June 15, 2015 and issued an additional 1,379,310,344 A Shares pursuant to the specific mandate as approved at the annual general meeting of the Company on June 27, 2014. On June 15, 2015, we completed the non-public issuance of 1,379,310,344 A Shares. Upon completion, the total number of A Shares of the Company was increased from 13,524,487,892 to 14,903,798,236. Please refer to “- Subscription of Equity Interest of Certain Subsidiaries and Subsequent Issuance of Additional A Shares” for further changes of our issuance of A Shares.

 

Disposal of Aluminum Fabrication Business

 

We disposed of substantially all of our aluminum fabrication operations to Chinalco pursuant to the approval of shareholders at the 2012 annual general meeting on June 27, 2013.

 

On May 13, 2013, we submitted the tender notice to CBEX to dispose of the equity interest we held in eight aluminum fabrication enterprises, including Henan Aluminum, Chalco Southwest Aluminum, Chalco Southwest Aluminum Cold Rolling, Huaxi Aluminum, Qingdao Light Metal, Chalco Ruimin, Chalco Sapa Aluminum Products (Chongqing) Co., Ltd. and Guizhou Chalco Aluminum Co., Ltd. (collectively, “Aluminum Fabrication Interests”) through open tender. Chinalco participated in and won the bid for the Aluminum Fabrication Interests on June 7, 2013. We entered into an agreement (the “Aluminum Fabrication Interests Transfer Agreement”) with Chinalco on June 9, 2013 for the disposal of Aluminum Fabrication Interests for a consideration of RMB3,242.2 million. Such consideration was the initial bidding price, which was determined with reference to the appraised value of the Aluminum Fabrication Interests. Pursuant to the Aluminum Fabrication Interests Transfer Agreement, Chinalco agreed to pay the consideration in cash in two installments, namely, 30% of the consideration to be paid within five business days after the effective date of the agreement and 70% of the consideration to be paid by June 30, 2014. Chinalco must pay interest for the second installment for the period starting from the date immediately after the effective date until the payment date at the one-year lending rate set by the PBOC. The disposal was approved at the 2012 annual general meeting held on June 27, 2013 and we completed the disposal on June 27, 2013. Chinalco paid the consideration in full in June 2014.

 

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As a condition of the disposal of the Aluminum Fabrication Interests, on June 9, 2013, we entered into an agreement with Chinalco to transfer the outstanding entrusted loans we provided to Henan Aluminum and Qingdao Light Metal as of December 31, 2012 to Chinalco for a consideration of RMB1,756.0 million. Such consideration was determined based on negotiations between the parties, with reference to the appraised total value of the loans. Pursuant to the agreement, Chinalco agreed to pay the consideration in cash in five equal installments of RMB351.2 million, with the last installment, together with the relevant interests at the one-year lending rate set by the PBOC, to be paid by June 30, 2017. The transfer was approved at the 2012 annual general meeting held on June 27, 2013 and we completed the transfer on June 27, 2013. The payment was fully settled by Chinalco in accordance with the agreement.

 

In addition, we entered into an agreement with Northwest Aluminum Fabrication Plant, a subsidiary of Chinalco, on June 6, 2013 to dispose of all the assets of Northwest Aluminum for RMB1,659.6 million. Such consideration was determined based on negotiations between the parties, with reference to the appraised net asset value of Northwest Aluminum. Pursuant to the agreement, Northwest Aluminum Fabrication Plant agreed to pay the consideration in cash in five equal installments of RMB331.9 million, with the last installment, together with the relevant interests at the one-year lending rate set by the PBOC, to be paid by June 30, 2017. The disposal was approved at the 2012 annual general meeting held on June 27, 2013 and we completed the disposal on June 27, 2013. The payment was fully settled by Northwest Aluminum Fabrication Plant in accordance with the agreement.

 

Disposal of Assets of Alumina Production Line of Guizhou Branch

 

On June 6, 2013, we entered into an agreement with Guizhou Aluminum Plant, a subsidiary of Chinalco, to dispose of the assets of the alumina production line of our Guizhou branch for a consideration of RMB4,429.0 million. Such consideration was determined based on negotiations between the parties, with reference to the appraised net asset value of such alumina assets of our Guizhou branch. Pursuant to the agreement, Guizhou Aluminum Plant agreed to pay the consideration in cash in five equal installments of RMB885.8 million, with the last installment, together with the relevant interests at the one-year lending rate set by the PBOC, to be paid by June 30, 2017. The disposal was approved at the 2012 annual general meeting held on June 27, 2013 and we completed the disposal on June 27, 2013. The payment was fully settled by Guizhou Aluminum Plant in accordance with the agreement.

 

We decided to dispose of the assets of the alumina production line of Guizhou branch because the district in which they were located had been changed from an industrial district to a commercial district based on the local urban plan, which will significantly increase Guizhou branch’s environmental compliance costs. We built a new alumina refinery, Guizhou Huajin, in an area relatively close to major bauxite and coal mines in Guizhou Province, which commenced production with an annual capacity of 1.6 million tonnes of alumina in 2015.

 

Senior Perpetual Capital Securities Offering

 

In October 2013, we completed the issuance of US$350 million in aggregate principal amount of 6.625% senior perpetual capital securities (the “2013 Senior Perpetual Securities”) through Chalco Hong Kong Investment Company Limited (the “Bond Issuer”), our wholly-owned subsidiary, which was exempted from, and not subject to, registration under the Securities Act. The 2013 Senior Perpetual Securities are guaranteed by Chalco Hong Kong and its certain subsidiaries. The 2013 Senior Perpetual Securities also have the benefit of a keepwell deed dated October 29, 2013 entered into by the Issuer, the Company, Chalco Hong Kong and the trustee and a deed of equity interest purchase undertaking dated on October 29, 2013 entered into by the Company and the trustee, both deeds being executed in favor of the trustee. The 2013 Senior Perpetual Securities were listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on October 30, 2013. The net proceeds from the issue of the 2013 Senior Perpetual Securities after deduction of issuance costs are RMB2,122.6 million and have been on-lent to the Company or any of its subsidiaries for general corporate use. Coupon payments of 6.625% per annum on the 2013 Senior Perpetual Securities are paid semi-annually in arrears from October 29, 2013, and may be deferred at our discretion unless, during the six-month period ending on the day before the relevant scheduled coupon payment date, we have, or the Bond Issuer or Chalco Hong Kong has, declared or paid a discretionary dividend, distribution or other discretionary payment on or in respect of, or have/has at its discretion repurchased, redeemed or otherwise acquired, any securities of lower or equal rank, subject to certain exceptions. The 2013 Senior Perpetual Securities have no fixed maturity and are callable only at our option on or after October 29, 2018, at their principal amounts together with any accrued, unpaid or deferred coupon interest payments. After October 29, 2018, the coupon rate would be reset every five calendar years to a rate of interest expressed as a percentage per annum equal to the sum of (a) the initial spread of 5.312 per cent, (b) the U.S. Treasury Rate, and (c) a margin of 5.00 per cent per annum. While any coupon interest payments are unpaid or deferred, we, Chalco Hong Kong, and the Bond Issuer shall not, subject to certain exceptions, declare or pay any discretionary dividends or make distributions or similar discretionary payments in respect of, or at its discretion repurchase, redeem or otherwise acquire for any consideration any securities of lower or equal rank. We redeemed the 2013 Senior Perpetual Securities in October 2018.

 

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In April 2014, we completed the issuance of US$400 million in aggregate principal amount of 6.25% senior perpetual capital securities (the “2014 Senior Perpetual Securities”) through the Bond Issuer, which was exempted from, and not subject to, registration under the Securities Act. The 2014 Senior Perpetual Securities are guaranteed by Chalco Hong Kong and its certain subsidiaries. The 2014 Senior Perpetual Securities also have the benefit of a keepwell deed entered into by the Bond Issuer, the Company, Chalco Hong Kong and the trustee and a deed of equity interest purchase undertaking entered into by the Company and the trustee, both deeds being executed in favor of the trustee. The 2014 Senior Perpetual Securities were listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on April 22, 2014. The net proceeds from the issue of the 2014 Senior Perpetual Securities after deduction of issuance costs are RMB2,461.8 million and have been on-lent to the Company or any of its subsidiaries for general corporate use. Coupon payments of 6.25% per annum on the 2014 Senior Perpetual Securities are paid semi-annually on April 29 and October 29 in arrears from April 17, 2014, and may be deferred at our discretion. The first coupon payment date was April 29, 2014. The 2014 Senior Perpetual Securities have no fixed maturity and are callable only at our option on or after April 17, 2017 at their principal amounts together with any accrued, unpaid or deferred coupon interest payments. While any coupon interest payments are unpaid or deferred, we, the subsidiary guarantors and the Bond Issuer cannot declare or pay dividends or make distributions or similar discretionary payments in respect of, or repurchase, redeem or otherwise acquire any securities of lower or equal rank. After April 17, 2017, the coupon rate would be reset to a percentage per annum equal to the sum of (a) the initial spread of 5.423 per cent, (b) the U.S. Treasury Rate, and (c) a margin of 5.00 per cent, per annum. We redeemed the 2014 Senior Perpetual Securities in April 2017.

 

On October 27, 2015, our Company issued RMB2,000 million perpetual medium-term notes at an initial distribution rate of 5.50% (the “2015 Perpetual Medium-term Notes”). The proceeds from the issuance were RMB2,000 million and were used for repayments of interest-bearing loans and borrowings. Coupon payments of 5.50% per annum on the 2015 Perpetual Medium-term Notes are paid annually in arrears from October 29, 2015 and may be deferred at the discretion of our Company. The 2015 Perpetual Medium-term Notes have no fixed maturity and are callable only at our option on October 29, 2020 or any coupon distribution date after October 29, 2020 at their principal amounts together with any accrued, unpaid or deferred coupon distribution payments. The coupon distribution rate will be reset to a percentage per annum equal to the sum of (a) the initial spread of 2.61 per cent, (b) the China Treasury Rate, and (c) a margin of 300 Bps every five years after October 29, 2020. While any coupon distribution payments are unpaid or deferred, the headquarters of the Company cannot declare or pay dividends to shareholders or decrease the share capital, or make material fixed asset investments of the headquarters of the Company.

 

On October 31, 2016, the Bond Issuer issued US$500 million senior perpetual securities (the “2016 Senior Perpetual Securities”) at a rate of 4.25%. The 2016 Senior Perpetual Securities are guaranteed by one of our subsidiaries, Chalco Hong Kong. The 2016 Senior Perpetual Securities also have the benefit of a keepwell deed entered into by the Bond Issuer, the Company, Chalco Hong Kong and the trustee. The 2016 Senior Perpetual Securities were listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on November 7, 2016. The net proceeds from the issue of the 2016 Senior Perpetual Securities were approximately RMB3,374 million and were on-lent to the Company or any of its subsidiaries for general corporate use. Coupon payments of 4.25% per annum on the 2016 Senior Perpetual Securities have been made semi-annually on April 29 and October 29 in arrears from November 7, 2016 and may be deferred at our discretion. The first coupon payment date was April 29, 2017. The 2016 Senior Perpetual Securities have no fixed maturity date and are callable only at our option on or after November 7, 2021 at their principal amounts together with any accrued, unpaid or deferred coupon distribution payments. After November 7, 2021, the coupon distribution rate will be reset to a percentage per annum equal to the sum of (a) the initial spread of 2.931 per cent, (b) the U.S. Treasury Rate, and (c) a margin of 5.00 per cent per annum. While any coupon distribution payments are unpaid or deferred, we, the wholly-owned subsidiaries of Chalco Hong Kong as guarantors, and the Bond Issuer cannot declare or pay dividends or make distributions or similar discretionary payments in respect of, or repurchase, redeem or otherwise acquire any securities of lower or equal rank.

 

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On October 19, 2018, we issued RMB2,000 million perpetual medium-term notes with an initial distribution rate at 5.10% (the “2018 Perpetual Medium-term Notes”). The proceeds from the issuance were RMB2,000 million. The proceeds were used for the repayment of interest-bearing loans and borrowings. Coupon payments of 5.10% per annum on the 2018 Perpetual Medium-term Notes are made annually in arrears from October 19, 2018 and may be deferred at our discretion. The 2018 Perpetual Medium-term Notes have no fixed maturity date and are callable only at our option on October 23, 2021 or any coupon distribution date after October 23, 2021 at their principal amounts together with any accrued, unpaid or deferred coupon distribution payments. The coupon distribution rate will be reset to a percentage per annum equal to the sum of (a) the initial spread of 2.61 per cent, (b) the China Treasury Rate, and (c) a margin of maximum 500 Bps every five years after October 23, 2021. While any coupon distribution payments are unpaid or deferred, we cannot declare or pay dividends to shareholders or decrease the share capital, or make material fixed asset investments.

On November 19, 2019, we issued RMB1,500 million perpetual medium-term notes with an initial distribution rate at 4.20% (the “2019 Perpetual Medium-term Notes”). The proceeds from the issuance were RMB1,499 million. The proceeds were used for the repayment of interest-bearing loans and borrowings. Coupon payments of 4.20% per annum on the 2019 Perpetual Medium-term Notes have been made annually in arrears from November 19, 2019 and may be deferred at our discretion. The 2019 Perpetual Medium-term Notes have no fixed maturity date and are callable only at our option on November 20, 2022 or any coupon distribution date after November 20, 2022 at their principal amounts together with any accrued, unpaid or deferred coupon distribution payments. The coupon distribution rate will be reset to a percentage per annum equal to the sum of (a) the initial spread of 1.31 per cent, (b) the China Treasury Rate, and (c) a margin of maximum 300 Bps every five years after November 20, 2022. While any coupon distribution payments are unpaid or deferred, the Company cannot declare or pay dividends to shareholders or decrease the share capital, or make material fixed asset investments.

 

Transfer of Equity Interest in Shanxi Huaxing

 

The Chalco Xing County Alumina Project, which was carried out by Shanxi Huaxing, commenced construction in May 2011 and undertook full operation in 2014. After completion of private placement of A Shares in June 2015, the Board resolved to replace the funds which have been invested by us in advance with the proceeds raised from the private placement of A Shares. In light of our strategic blueprint for the development of Shanxi aluminum recycle industrial park, we planned to introduce strategic investors for joint investment and cooperation to develop a new model of integrated coal, electricity and aluminum operations. In December 2015, we entered into an equity transfer agreement with Shenzhen CR Yuanta Asset Management Co., Ltd., a state-owned entity, to transfer 50% equity interests in Shanxi Huaxing, a wholly-owned subsidiary, through the Shanghai United Assets and Equity Exchange at a price of RMB2,351 million (the “2015 Equity Transfer Agreement”). The price was determined based on the appraisal value provided by an independent qualified appraisal company. According to the 2015 Equity Transfer Agreement, 30% of the consideration amounting to RMB705 million has been received by us in December 2015. In December 2016, Shenzhen CR Yuanta Asset Management Co., Ltd. transferred the 50% of equity interest in Shanxi Huaxing to Baotou Transportation Investment Group Co., Ltd. As agreed among Shenzhen CR Yuanta Asset Management Co., Ltd., Baotou Transportation Investment Group Co., Ltd. and the Company, Baotou Transportation Investment Group Co., Ltd., shall assume the payment obligation on the outstanding consideration of RMB1,646,035,160 payable by Shenzhen CR Yuanta Asset Management Co., Ltd. to the Company under the 2015 Equity Transfer Agreement and settle the outstanding consideration in full together with interest accrued thereon from January 1, 2017 to the date of payment before March 31, 2017. The payment was fully settled by Baotou Transportation Investment Group Co., Ltd. in March 2017.

 

In December 2018, we entered into an equity transfer agreement with Baotou Transportation Investment Group Co., Ltd., pursuant to which we agreed to acquire 50% equity interest in Shanxi Huaxing through the Shanghai United Assets and Equity Exchange at a price of approximately RMB2,665.2 million, which we paid in full in December 2018. Upon completion of the acquisition, Shanxi Huaxing became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company. The acquisition is conducted for the purpose of enhancing our profitability and is in line with our strategic layout of alumina and aluminum business, as the increase of our shareholding in Shanxi Huaxing, an alumina plant, is expected to enhance the synergy with our primary aluminum production in Shanxi, where we have newly added production capacity of primary aluminum.

 

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Transfer of Shares of Jiaozuo Wanfang

 

On January 22, 2015 and January 23, 2015, we decreased our shareholding in Jiaozuo Wanfang by 4,758,858 shares through the securities exchange system of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. In March 2015, we transferred 100,000,000 shares of Jiaozuo Wanfang to Geo-Jade Petroleum Corporation by way of agreement after the public solicitation for potential transferees. On June 25, 2015, we further transferred 42,550,900 shares of Jiaozuo Wanfang by way of block trading through the securities exchange system of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. On December 18, 21 and 22, 2015, we reduced our shareholding in Jiaozuo Wanfang by 16,695,100 shares through the centralized bidding trading system of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. From December 23 to 25, 2015, we reduced our shareholding in Jiaozuo Wanfang by 13,865,000 shares through the centralized bidding trading system of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and block trading. As a result, we held 29,582,057 shares of Jiaozuo Wanfang as of December 31, 2015, representing 2.46% of the total share capital of Jiaozuo Wanfang. During the period from July 8, 2016 to September 27, 2016, we reduced our shareholding of Jiaozuo Wanfang by an aggregate of 16,628,098 shares via the Shanghai Stock Exchange centralized bidding trading system, representing approximately 1.39% of the total share capital of Jiaozuo Wanfang. The average price of reduction was approximately RMB8.73 per share. After the reduction, the Company remained holding 12,953,959 shares of Jiaozuo Wanfang, representing approximately 1.09% of its total share capital. During the period from September 29, 2016 to January 26, 2017, we reduced our shareholding of Jiaozuo Wanfang by an aggregate of 12,953,959 shares via the Shanghai Stock Exchange centralized bidding trading system, representing approximately 1.09% of the total share capital of Jiaozuo Wanfang. The average price of reduction was approximately RMB10.19 per share. After such reduction in our shareholding, we no longer hold any shares of Jiaozuo Wanfang.

 

Disposal of Certain Assets of Guizhou Branch

 

Guizhou branch entered into a land reserve acquisition cooperation agreement with the People’s Government of the Baiyun District of Guiyang, Guiyang Land Reserve Center, and Guizhou Aluminum Plant on November 13, 2015. As the land of Guizhou Aluminum Plant occupied by the primary aluminum plant of Guizhou branch shall be transferred to the respective land resources and reserve authorities, Guizhou branch sold the relevant assets, including buildings and structures located on the land occupied by the primary aluminum plant of Guizhou branch, to the Guiyang Land Reserve Center for a total consideration of RMB1.95 billion. The consideration was determined based on the asset appraisal conducted by an independent asset appraisal firm.

 

Disposal of the Environmental Protection Business

 

On May 30, 2016, the Board approved the transfer of the environmental protection assets in relation to the desulfurization, denitration and dedusting of the coal-fired generating units of five entities, namely Lanzhou branch, Baotou Aluminum, Shandong Huayu, Maliantai Power Station and Liupanshan Power Station of Ningxia Energy, by way of public bidding. On June 29, 2016, the assets transfer agreement in relation to disposal of the above environmental protection assets were entered into between Beijing Aluminum SPC Environment Protection Tech Co., Ltd., which had won the bid for the acquisition of the assets, and us. Pursuant to the asset transfer agreement, the aggregate consideration for the above environmental protection assets disposal was RMB1,754 million which was paid in two installments in June 2016 and December 2016, respectively.

 

We decided to dispose the environmental protection assets to reduce our capital investments and generate cash flows. We have been complying with the relevant standards of environmental protection through professional services rendered by specialized environmental protection companies.

 

Development of Gold Leasing Financing

 

On May 30, 2016, the Board resolved to develop gold leasing business to financing working capital. Since 2016, we have entered into several agreements with Bank of Communications Co., Ltd., China Everbright Bank and Agriculture Bank of China to finance working capital via gold leasing. As of December 31, 2019, our remaining proceeds from gold leasing amounted to approximately RMB7,018.6 million, which has been used to replenish working capital for our production and operation.

 

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Establishment of Industry Investment Fund

 

On May 23, 2017, the Company, Bank of Communications International Trust Co., Ltd. (“BOCOMMTRUST”) and Chinalco Jianxin Investment Fund Management (Beijing) Company Limited (“Chinalco Jianxin”) entered into a partnership agreement in relation to the establishment of Beijing Chalco Bocom Size Industry Investment Fund Management Partnership (Limited Partnership) (the “Industry Fund”). On September 27, 2017, the Company, BOCOMMTRUST, Chinalco Jianxin and Bocommtrust Asset Management Co., Ltd. (“Bocommtrust Asset”) entered into certain agreements with respect to Chinalco Jianxin’s withdrawal from and Bocommtrust Asset’s participation in the Industry Fund. On the same day, the Company, BOCOMMTRUST and Bocommtrust Asset entered into a capital contribution agreement and a new partnership agreement in relation to the Industry Fund. Pursuant to these agreements, the general partner of the Industry Fund changed from Chinalco Jianxin to Bocommtrust Asset while Chinalco Jianxin remained as the manager of the Industry Fund.

 

The Industry Fund would provide funding for the construction of our major projects, replenish our working capital and support our structural adjustment, transformation and upgrade. As of December 31, 2019, the Industry Fund made debt investments in certain of our subsidiaries and joint ventures with a total amount of RMB5,000 million, of which we had contributed RMB1,650 million.

 

Merger and Reorganization of Shanxi Branch and Shanxi Huaze

 

On August 8, 2017, we entered into a reorganization agreement with Zhangze Electric Power, pursuant to which we contributed certain assets related to alumina production of our Shanxi branch, with an appraised net value of RMB3,425.7 million equaling the appraised net value of the assets and liabilities of Shanxi branch, to Shanxi Huaze. The assets injected into Shanxi Huaze included, among others, inventories, buildings, structures, machinery and equipment. Upon completion of our asset contribution in 2017, our shareholding in Shanxi Huaze increased from 60% to 85.98% and Shanxi Huaze was renamed to Shanxi New Material.

 

Subscription of Equity Interest of Certain Subsidiaries and Subsequent Issuance of Additional A Shares (“Asset Restructuring”)

 

On December 4, 2017, we entered into certain investment and debt conversion agreements (the “Initial Agreements”) with Huarong Ruitong Equity Investment Management Co., Ltd. (“Huarong Ruitong”), China Life Insurance Company Limited (“China Life”), Shenzhen Zhaoping Chalco Investment Center LLP (“Zhaoping Investment”), China Pacific Life Insurance Co., Ltd. (“CPIC Life”), China Cinda Asset Management Co., Ltd. (“China Cinda”), BOC Financial Asset Investment Co., Ltd. (“BOC Financial”), ICBC Financial Asset Investment Co., Ltd. (“ICBC Financial”) and ABC Financial Asset Investment Company Limited (“ABC Financial”) (collectively, the “Restructuring Investors”). Pursuant to the Initial Agreements, Huarong Ruitong, China Life, Zhaoping Investment, CPIC Life, BOC Financial, ICBC Financial and ABC Financial have agreed to make cash contributions to our wholly-owned subsidiaries, Chalco Shandong, Zhongzhou Aluminum, Baotou Aluminum and Chalco Mining (collectively, the “Target Subsidiaries”), while the principal of loans owed by Chalco Mining to Huarong Ruitong, Zhaoping Investment, China Cinda and BOC Financial prior to signing of the Initial Agreements would be treated as capital contribution to Chalco Mining and converted into equity interest in Chalco Mining held by Huarong Ruitong, Zhaoping Investment, China Cinda and BOC Financial. The Restructuring Investors have agreed to acquire 30.80%, 36.90%, 25.67% and 81.14% of equity interest of Chalco Shandong, Zhongzhou Aluminum, Baotou Aluminum and Chalco Mining, respectively, with an aggregate capital contribution of approximately RMB12.6 billion. Under the Initial Agreements, we have also agreed to acquire equity interest held by the Restructuring Investors in the Target Subsidiaries with consideration in the form of our A Shares to be issued to the Restructuring Investors. On December 20, 2017, the Initial Agreements and the transactions contemplated thereunder were approved at our 2017 second extraordinary general meeting. In December 2017, the capital contribution to the Target Subsidiaries by the Restructuring Investors was completed in accordance with the terms of the Initial Agreements.

 

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Subsequently, on January 31, 2018, we entered into equity acquisition agreements (the “Further Agreements”) with the Restructuring Investors. Pursuant to the Further Agreements, we have agreed to acquire all the equity interest held by the Restructuring Investors in the Target Subsidiaries with consideration in the form of A Shares of the Company to be issued to the Restructuring Investors (the “Proposed Issuance”). The number of A Shares in issue pursuant to the Proposed Issuance would equal the appraised value of equity interest held by Restructuring Investors in Target Subsidiaries as of December 31, 2017 determined by China United Assets Appraisal divided by the issue price. The aforementioned appraised value might be subject to further adjustment by competent PRC authorities upon filing of the valuation report by China United Assets Appraisal. The issue price has been set at RMB6.00 per A Share with reference to 90% of the average trading price of our A Shares during the last 60 trading days prior to January 31, 2018 (i.e., the last 60 trading days prior to the suspension of trading of our A Shares) in accordance with rules and regulations of the PRC applicable to transaction of this kind. The appraised value, subject to further adjustment, was RMB12.7 billion and therefore we would issue to the Restructuring Investors approximately 2.1 billion A Shares in aggregate, representing approximately 14.2% of the total issued share capital of the Company as of January 31, 2018 and approximately 12.4% of the enlarged total issued share capital of the Company upon completion of the Proposed Issuance. On July 30, 2018, we entered supplemental equity acquisition agreements with the Restructuring Investors, amending, among others, the final consideration of the proposed acquisition and the number of the consideration shares to be issued from approximately RMB12,703.7 million and approximately 2,117,280,800 to approximately RMB12,713.2 million and 2,118,874,715, respectively. The Proposed Issuance was approved by our shareholders, the SASAC and the CSRC in 2018. In February 2019, all equity interests of Target Subsidiaries held by the Restructuring Investors were transferred to us, which resulted in us holding 100% equity interests of all Target Subsidiaries. On February 25, 2019, we issued an aggregate of 2,118,874,715 A Shares to the Restructuring Investors and our total share capital increased from 14,903,798,236 shares to 17,022,672,951 shares. The shares issued to the Restructuring Investors can be traded on the Shanghai Stock Exchange after expiry on February 26, 2020 of the 12 month lock-up period.

Cash contributions received from the Restructuring Investors have been used by us for the repayment of loans. The Asset Restructuring has helped to reduce the gearing ratios of these subsidiaries and us as a whole. 

Boffa Project 

 

On June 8, 2018, Chalco Hong Kong and Chalco Guinea Company S.A., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chalco Hong Kong, entered into a mining convention (the “Mining Convention”) with the Guinean government, pursuant to which Chalco Hong Kong agreed to provide investment funds while the Guinean government agreed to provide mining licenses and rights to transport mining products for the development and operation of the Boffa Project, a project for the construction and development of a bauxite mine located in Boffa, Guinea.

Based on our preliminary research and analysis and after taking into account various factors, including but not limited to (i) the bauxite reserve and the minable quantity in the mining area of the Boffa Project; (ii) the advancement and effectiveness of the existing development technologies; (iii) labor cost, transportation expense and other development costs and other factors, the total investment of the Boffa Project is estimated to be approximately US$706 million, subject to adjustment pursuant to the actual needs, which will be mainly allocated in the construction of mines, ports and lightering system and is expected to be funded through capital investment together with shareholders’ loans or bank loans. According to our preliminary design plan, the total investment for the construction of mines is estimated to be approximately RMB3,088 million. As of December 31, 2019, an aggregate of RMB1,872 million of capital expenditure had been incurred for the construction of mines.

 

In accordance with the Mining Convention, a mining company (the “Mining Company”) and a port company (the “Port Company”) are established to act as the main operating bodies for mines construction and ports construction, respectively. In accordance with the Mining Convention, we own 85% and 95% equity interests in the Mining Company and the Port Company, respectively, while the Guinean government and its wholly-owned companies collectively own 15% and 5% equity interests in the Mining Company and the Port Company, respectively. Pursuant to the Mining Convention, Chalco Hong Kong shall grant the Guinean government and/or its wholly-owned companies an option to obtain additional equity interests in the Mining Company and grant Societe Guineenne de Patrimoine Minier, a company wholly owned by the Guinean government, an option to obtain additional equity interests in the Port Company (together, the “Options”). If the Options are exercised in full, our equity interests in the Mining Company and Ports Company will reduce to 65% and 90%, respectively. As of December 31, 2019, the Options had not been exercised. 

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With a large reserve of resources, we believe the Boffa Project would provide sustainable bauxite resources for our alumina production and its high ore grades would help reduce alkali and energy consumption in our alumina production. In addition, as the mines are close to port, we are able to consolidate inland waterway transportation and maritime transportation, which benefits long-term development of the project and effectively controls investment risks at the early stage.

 

The Boffa Project commenced construction in September 2018 with an expected annual bauxite output capacity of 12 million tonnes. By the end of 2019, the quarry of mine had been put into operation. The first shipment of bauxite was sent to China in February 2020.

 

Merger and Reorganization of Zunyi Alumina and Zunyi Aluminum

 

On June 21, 2018, in order to streamline our production chains, enhance synergistic effects and control operating costs, we entered into a contribution agreement with other shareholders of Zunyi Aluminum, pursuant to which we contributed all assets in Zunyi Alumina to Zunyi Aluminum. The appraised net value of Zunyi Alumina, equaling the appraised net value of its assets and liabilities, was RMB2,311 million. Upon completion of the merger, our shareholding in Zunyi Aluminum increased from 62.1% to 67.445%.

 

Controlling Shareholder’s Shareholding Increase in the Company 

 

On June 24, 2018, Chinalco notified us of its plan to increase its shareholding in us via the trading system of the Shanghai Stock Exchange in an amount of not less than RMB400 million and not more than RMB1 billion in 12 months. Chinalco would, based on its reasonable judgment on our share price as well as the fluctuations of our share prices and the overall trend in the capital market, gradually implement the plan on increase in shareholding to the extent not exceeding 2% of our total share capital. The purpose of such increases in shareholding is to boost confidence of investors, protect the interests of minority shareholders and stabilize the capital market based on Chinalco’s confidence in the future development of the company and the recognition of our value.

 

For the period from June 25, 2018 to June 24, 2019, as the result of the aforesaid plan, Chinalco increased its shareholding in us by 160,512,964 A shares (representing approximately 0.94% of our total issued share capital as of June 24, 2019) in the amount of RMB608 million on a cumulative basis via the trading system of the Shanghai Stock Exchange. In addition, during the same period of time, Chinalco also, through its subsidiaries, had increased its shareholding in us by 115,276,000 H shares (representing approximately 0.68% of our total issued share capital as of June 24, 2019) in the amount of HK$365 million on a cumulative basis via the trading system of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

 

Acquisition of Carbon Assets and Equity Interests

 

On August 30, 2018, our Group and the affiliates of Chinalco Assets entered into a series of assets transfer agreements and equity transfer agreements for the acquisition of certain carbon assets and equity interests from the affiliates of Chinalco Assets, including: (i) the assets of the carbon plant under Shandong Aluminum Industry Co., Ltd; (ii) the assets of the carbon plant under Pingguo Aluminum Company Limited; (iii) 49% equity interests of Baotou Sendu Carbon Company Limited; and (iv) 57.69% and 19.96% equity interests of Chibi Great Wall Carbon Products Company Limited from two separate shareholders. Upon completion of the acquisition, we expect this acquisition would help us consummate our industrial chain, ensure our steady production, and improve our competitiveness and anti-risk capabilities, as carbon products are one of major raw materials for production of primary aluminum. As of December 2018, we had paid the total consideration of RMB735.6 million in full and the acquisition had been completed.

 

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Transfer Between China Copper and Yunnan SASAC

 

On November 13, 2018, China Copper, a wholly-owned subsidiary of our controlling shareholder, entered into a transfer agreement with Yunnan SASAC, pursuant to which Yunnan SASAC shall transfer its 51% equity interest in Yunnan Metallurgical Group Co., Ltd. to China Copper with no consideration. The transfer was approved by the SASAC on December 19, 2018, by the State Administration for Market Regulation on December 20, 2018 and by the CSRC on December 29, 2018. Chinalco completed the transfer on January 8, 2019. As Yunnan Aluminum, an affiliated company of Yunnan Metallurgical Group Co., Ltd., competes with us in the business segments of alumina and primary aluminum, on January 2, 2019, Chinalco, as the indirect controlling shareholder of Yunnan Aluminum and our direct controlling shareholder, issued a letter of undertakings on non-competition to us in order to address business competition and safeguard the legitimate interests of the Company and our minority shareholders. According to the letter of undertakings, Chinalco undertook to start in 2019 planning the integration of the businesses in which Yunnan Aluminum and we compete with each other, and address business competition between Yunnan Aluminum and us within five years.

 

Transfer of Primary Aluminum Capacity Quota of Shanxi Huasheng

 

On May 28, 2019, Shanxi Huasheng and Yixin Aluminum entered into a transfer agreement, pursuant to which Shanxi Huasheng agreed to sell to Yixin Aluminum the primary aluminum capacity quota of 190,000 tonnes. The total transfer consideration is RMB950 million with the transfer price of RMB5,000 per tonne. With the adjusted number of annual capacity quota finally determined by relevant PRC authority, we completed the transfer of the primary aluminum capacity quota of 170,000 tonnes to Yixin Aluminum with the total transfer consideration of RMB850 million in June 2019. We expect this transfer would help to reverse Shanxi Huasheng’s losses, achieve its transformation and upgrading, and optimize our industrial layout and asset structure.

 

Proposed Issuance of H Shares

 

On June 25, 2019, our shareholders at the 2018 annual general meeting passed a special resolution, which will remain valid until the earliest of (i) the conclusion of our next annual general meeting, (ii) the expiration of 12 months following the date of passing the resolution, or (iii) the date on which the authority set out in this resolution is revoked or varied by a special resolution at a general meeting. The resolution authorizes us to issue up to 20% of the total nominal value of H Shares in issue as of the resolution date. Our Board has been authorized to determine the use of the proceeds. The proposed issuance is subject to all the necessary approval by the CSRC and/or other relevant PRC government authorities.

 

Capital Contribution to China Rare Metals and Rare Earths Company Ltd. with Gallium Assets

 

On August 27, 2019, we entered into a capital contribution agreement with China Rare Metals and Rare Earths Company Ltd., a subsidiary of Chinalco, pursuant to which we agreed to make a capital contribution of RMB352,848,100 to China Rare Metals and Rare Earths Company Ltd. with our gallium assets, which contribution were made in full in August 2019. Upon completion of the transaction, the shareholding proportion we hold in China Rare Metals and Rare Earths Company Ltd. will be increased from 14.62% to 23.94%, and the registered capital of China Rare Metals and Rare Earths Company Ltd. will be increased from RMB1,360,000,000 to RMB1,526,750,900. We expect this acquisition will help us revitalize gallium assets irrelevant to our principal businesses and increase investment returns by leveraging on China Rare Metals and Rare Earths Company Ltd.’s industrial advantages.

 

Capital Contribution to Yixin Aluminum

 

On December 10, 2019, we entered into a capital contribution agreement with Yixin Aluminum and its shareholders, pursuant to which we agreed to make a capital contribution of RMB850 million in cash to Yixin Aluminum, which we paid in full in December 2019. Upon completion of the transaction, we will hold 38.90% equity interests of Yixin Aluminum. We expect this capital contribution to facilitate us in participating in the green development layout on the integration of hydropower and aluminum in Yunnan Province and obtaining competitive assets for our principal business.

 

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Subscription for A Shares of Yunnan Aluminum

 

On December 19, 2019, we entered into a shares subscription agreement with Yunnan Aluminum, pursuant to which we agreed to subscribe through non-public offering for 314,050,688 A shares of Yunnan Aluminum at a price of RMB4.10 per share with the total subscription amount of RMB1,287,607,820.80. The subscription price of RMB4.10 per A share was determined through bidding and based on the minimum issuance price of the non-public offering by Yunnan Aluminum, which represented 90% of the average trading price of the shares in the 20 trading days prior to the first day of the issuance period, namely December 13, 2019. We paid the consideration in full and 314,050,688 A shares of Yunnan Aluminum were registered under our name in December 2019, representing approximately 10.04% of the total share capital of Yunnan Aluminum. Pursuant to the shares subscription agreement, we shall not transfer the subscribed A shares thereto within 36 months from the listing date. We expect our subscription for A shares of Yunnan Aluminum will help resolve business competitions between Yunnan Aluminum and us and is in line with our development strategies and in our interests as a whole.

 

Construction Projects

 

As of the date of this annual report, we have undertaken a number of facility expansion projects in China. See “- D. Property, Plants and Equipment - Our Expansion.”

 

B.Business Overview

 

Our Principal Products

 

We are a leading enterprise in the non-ferrous metal industry in China. In terms of comprehensive scale, we ranked among the top enterprises in the global aluminum industry. We have benefited from the development of the PRC aluminum market, the world’s largest aluminum market. We refine bauxite into alumina, which is then smelted into primary aluminum. In addition to alumina and primary aluminum, we also produce and sell chemical alumina products (alumina hydrate and alumina-based industrial chemical products) and carbon products (carbon anodes and cathodes). We are also engaged in the trading and logistics of alumina, primary aluminum, other non-ferrous metal products, coal products and raw and ancillary materials in bulk manufactured by us or sourced from external suppliers domestically and abroad. In addition, we are engaged in coal mining and power generation. The remainder of our revenues was derived from research and development activities and other products and services. Accordingly, we organize and manage our operations in five business segments: alumina segment, primary aluminum segment, trading segment, energy segment and corporate and other operating segment. After elimination of inter-segment sales, revenues attributable to our alumina segment, primary aluminum segment, trading segment, energy segment, and corporate and other operating segment accounted for approximately 7.5%, 19.7%, 68.9%, 3.7% and 0.2%, respectively, of our total revenues in 2019.

 

Our alumina segment includes the mining and purchasing of bauxite and other raw materials, and production and sale of alumina as well as chemical alumina. Alumina accounted for approximately 88.1% of our total production volume for this segment in 2019. Chemical alumina products are used in the production of chemical, pharmaceutical, ceramic and construction materials. In the process of refining bauxite into alumina, we used to produce gallium as a by-product, which is a rare, high value metal with applications in the electronics and telecommunication industries. In August 2019, we made a capital contribution with all of our gallium assets to China Rare Metals and Rare Earths Company Ltd. and are currently not engaged in any gallium production. See “- A. History and Development of the Company - Capital Contribution to China Rare Metals and Rare Earths Company Ltd. with Gallium Assets” for details.

 

Our primary aluminum segment includes the procurement of alumina, other raw materials, supplemental materials and electrical power, the production and sale of primary aluminum and aluminum-related products, such as carbon products, aluminum alloy products and other aluminum products. Our principal primary aluminum products are ingots, molten aluminum and aluminum alloys, which accounted for approximately 29%, 38% and 33%, respectively, of our total production volume of primary aluminum in 2019. Our standard 20 kilogram remelt ingots are used for general aluminum fabrication in the construction, electricity, electronics, transportation, packaging, machinery and durable goods industries. We internally produce substantially all the carbon products used at our smelters and sell our remaining carbon products to external customers.

 

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Our trading segment is mainly engaged in the trading of alumina, primary aluminum, aluminum fabrication products, other non-ferrous metal products, and crude fuels such as coal products, as well as supplemental materials and logistics and transport services to our internal manufacturing plants and external customers. We established our trading business under Chalco Trading as a separate segment in July 2010 as a result of our operational structural adjustment. Since 2014, we have established Chalco Materials, Chalco Logistics and Chalco Trading Group to continuously promote and deepen development of our trading business, jointly constituting our trading segment. Established in 2018, Chalco Trading Group has undertaken the businesses that used to be operated by Chalco Trading.

 

Our energy segment includes the research and development, production and operation of energy products, including coal mining and conventional coal-fire power generation as well as renewable energy generation such as wind power and solar power. We are also engaged in new energy equipment production. We established our energy segment in January 2013 as a result of our acquisition of Ningxia Energy in line with our development strategy to partially offset our future energy costs. In 2019, we supplied the majority of the electricity we generated for our own production use, supplied a portion of the coal output to our own electric power plant and sold the remaining portion to external customers. Ningxia Energy supplied the electricity it generated mainly to the state grid in China.

 

Our corporate and other operating segment mainly includes corporate and other aluminum-related research, development, and our other activities.

 

Our Production Capacity

 

As of December 31, 2019, our annual alumina production capacity and primary aluminum production capacity was approximately 18.86 million tonnes and 4.59 million tonnes, respectively. The following table sets forth the production capacity of each of our principal plants by business segment as of the indicated date:

 

   As of December 31, 2019 
Plant  Alumina   Primary
Aluminum
 
   (in thousand tonnes)(1) 
Guangxi branch   2,210     
Zhongzhou Aluminum   3,050     
Qinghai branch       420 
Guizhou branch        
Chalco Mining   2,410     
Chalco Shandong   2,270     
Shanxi New Material   2,600    424 
Chongqing branch   800     
Lanzhou Aluminum       450 
Shanxi Huasheng        
Zunyi Aluminum   1,000    375 
Shandong Huayu       200 
Baotou Aluminum(2)        1,340 
Zhengzhou Institute   20     
Liancheng branch       550 
Guizhou Huajin   1,600     
Xinghua Technology   900     
Shanxi Huaxing   2,000     
Guizhou Huaren       400 
Shanxi Zhongrun       432 
Total   18,860    4,591 

 

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(1)Production capacity is calculated based on designed capacity, which accounts for various assumptions including downtime for ordinary maintenance and repairs, the ore grade of bauxite feedstock and subsequent capacity modifications.

(2)Including the primary aluminum production capacity of Inner Mongolia Huayun, a subsidiary of Baotou Aluminum.

 

In 2019, we produced approximately 13.80 million tonnes of alumina (excluding chemical alumina products), 3.80 million tonnes of chemical alumina products and 3.79 million tonnes of primary aluminum. Our production of alumina (with chemical alumina products included) and primary aluminum represented approximately 21.9% and 10.5%, respectively, of the total output of alumina (with chemical alumina products included) and primary aluminum in China in 2019.

 

The following table sets forth a breakdown of our production volume by product segment for the periods indicated:

 

  

Year Ended December 31,

 
Production Volume by Product 

2017

  

2018

  

2019

 
   (in thousand tonnes, except Gallium) 
Alumina segment               
Alumina   12,810    13,510    13,803 
Chemical alumina products   2,853    3,240    3,802 
Gallium (in tonnes)   72    136    98 
Primary aluminum segment               
Primary aluminum(1)    3,607    4,166    3,788 
Carbon   1,962    2,010    1,472 

 

 
(1)Including ingots, molten aluminum and aluminum alloys.

 

Production Process

 

Alumina

 

Alumina is refined from bauxite, an aluminum-bearing ore, through a chemical refining process. The refining process applied is determined by the mineral composition of the bauxite used in production. Our refineries may employ the Bayer process, the Bayer-sintering series process, the Bayer-sintering combined process or the ore-dressing Bayer process. Most of the bauxite reserves in China contain diasporic bauxite, which contains high alumina content but relatively high silica content, resulting in bauxite reserves with low alumina-to-silica ratio. The Bayer process cannot efficiently refine diasporic bauxite that has not undergone processing to increase its alumina-to-silica ratio. The Bayer-sintering process and the Bayer-sintering combined process are suitable for refining low alumina-to-silica ratio bauxite. We have developed and improved these processes to increase our refining yield. In addition, we also produce some chemical alumina products (alumina hydrate and alumina-based industrial chemical products).

 

Primary Aluminum

 

We smelt alumina into primary aluminum through electrolytic reduction. The electrolytic process takes place in a reduction cell, or pot, a steel shell lined with carbon cathodes and refractory materials. Powerful electric currents are passed through the pot to produce molten aluminum. The molten aluminum is transferred to holding furnaces and then poured directly into molds to produce foundry ingots, or further refined to form fabricating ingots, which may be used directly in the aluminum fabrication process. The primary aluminum we produce is in the form of ingots, molten aluminum and aluminum alloys.

 

All of our primary aluminum smelters use pre-bake anode reduction pot-lines. In the pre-bake reduction process, the anodes are pre-formed in a separate facility where pollutants can be contained. The cells themselves are enclosed with removable panels so that the waste gas produced during the process can be extracted using large exhaust fans. Our waste gas is treated and purified to reduce dust and fluoride emissions to acceptable levels set by state environmental protection agencies.

 

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Production Facilities

 

Alumina

 

We currently operate ten alumina refineries and one research institute with a total designed annual production capacity of approximately 18.86 million tonnes as of December 31, 2019. Two of our refineries are integrated with primary aluminum smelters. In 2019, we produced approximately 13.80 million tonnes of alumina, approximately 3.80 million tonnes of chemical alumina products and approximately 98 tonnes of gallium. The overall utilization rate for our refineries was 84% as of December 31, 2019.

 

In 2019, we supplied approximately 6.57 million tonnes, or 48%, of our total production of alumina to our own smelters and sold substantially all of the remaining alumina to other domestic customers. All of the chemical alumina products that we produced in 2019 were sold by alumina refineries directly to external customers or internally to Chalco Trading Group for subsequent external trading.

 

The following table sets forth the annual production capacity, output of alumina and chemical alumina products, utilization rate and production process applied in each of our alumina refineries and our Zhengzhou Institute:

 

  

As of December 31, 2019

  

For the Year Ended December 31, 2019

  

Annual
Production
Capacity(1)

  

Utilization
Rate(2)

  

Alumina
Production
Output

  

Chemical
Alumina
Products
Output

  

Production Process

   (in thousand tonnes, except percentages)
Shanxi New Material   2,600    100%   1,771    95   Bayer-sintering
Chalco Mining   2,410    87%   1,235    99   Bayer-sintering
Chalco Shandong   2,270    100%   1,568    2,528   Sintering and Bayer
Zhongzhou Aluminum   3,050    100%   2,133    778   Sintering and Bayer
Guangxi branch   2,210    100%   2,460    128   Bayer
Zunyi Aluminum   1,000    100%   1,102    16   Bayer
Chongqing branch   800               Bayer-sintering
Zhengzhou Institute(3)    20            71   Bayer
Guizhou Huajin   1,600    100%   1,613       Bayer
Xinghua Technology   900    61%   665    88   Bayer
Shanxi Huaxing   2,000    50%   1,256       Bayer
Total   18,860    84%   13,803    3,802    

 

 
(1)Production capacity is calculated based on designed capacity, which accounts for various assumptions including downtime for ordinary maintenance and repairs, the ore grade of bauxite feedstock and subsequent capacity modifications.

(2)Capacity utilization rate is calculated by dividing our utilized production capacity as of the date indicated by our total designed annual production capacity.

(3)The chemical alumina products produced at our Zhengzhou Institute are sold commercially and such sales are included in our total revenues.

 

Primary Aluminum

 

We operate eleven primary aluminum smelters in China. Our smelters had an aggregate annual production capacity of approximately 4.59 million tonnes as of December 31, 2019.

 

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In 2019, we produced approximately 3.79 million tonnes of primary aluminum and the average utilization rate for our smelters was 80% as of December 31, 2019. The following table sets forth the annual production capacity, aluminum output, utilization rate and smelting equipment used in each of our aluminum smelters:

 

  

As of December 31, 2019

  

For the Year Ended December 31, 2019

Plant 

Annual
Production
Capacity(1)

  

Utilization
Rate(2)

  

Aluminum
Output(3)

  

Smelting Equipment 

   (in thousand tonnes, except percentages)
Baotou Aluminum(4)    1,340    100%   1,315   200Ka, 240Ka, 400Ka and 500Ka pre-bake
Guizhou branch(5)               Secondary aluminum processing
Lanzhou Aluminum   450    99%   409   200Ka and 350Ka pre-bake
Qinghai branch   420    99%   408   180Ka and 210Ka pre-bake
Shandong Huayu(6)    200        8   240Ka pre-bake
Shanxi Huasheng(7)            61   300Ka pre-bake
Shanxi New Material   424    81%   366   300Ka pre-bake
Zunyi Aluminum   375    100%   405   200Ka and 400Ka pre-bake
Liancheng branch   550    28%   155   200Ka and 500Ka pre-bake
Guizhou Huaren   400    100%   480   500Ka
Shanxi Zhongrun   432    50%   181   500Ka
Total   4,591    80%   3,788    

 

 
(1)Production capacity takes into account designed capacity, downtime for ordinary maintenance and repairs and subsequent capacity modifications.

(2)Capacity utilization rate is calculated by dividing our utilized production capacity as of the date indicated by our total designed annual production capacity.

(3)Includes ingots, molten aluminum and aluminum alloys.

(4)Including the primary aluminum production facilities at Inner Mongolia Huayun, a subsidiary of Baotou Aluminum.

(5)As of December 31, 2019, the primary aluminum production facilities in our Guizhou branch had been disposed of by us. Our Guizhou branch did not have annual primary aluminum production capacity as of December 31, 2019. We did not produce any primary aluminum at our Guizhou branch in 2019.

(6)As of December 31, 2019, Shandong Huayu had halted its primary aluminum production. See “- Principal Facilities – Shandong Huayu” for details.

(7)As of December 31, 2019, Shanxi Huasheng had terminated its primary aluminum production and transferred its primary aluminum capacity quota to Yixin Aluminum. See “- A. History and Development of the Company - Transfer of Primary Aluminum Capacity Quota of Shanxi Huasheng” for details.

 

Raw Materials

 

Alumina

 

Bauxite is the principal raw material in alumina production. Most of the bauxite in China is monohydrate, consisting mainly of Aluminosilicate compounds. Bauxite deposits have been discovered across a broad area of central China and are especially abundant in the southern and northern parts of central China. The largest bauxite deposit in China lies in the Shanxi Province.

 

Rock Formation and Mineralization. Except for our Guangxi Pingguo mine which is an accumulation deposit due to original erosion, the bauxite deposits of our mines in China usually have similar stratigraphic sequences. Primary bauxite deposit, as a type of sedimentary boehmite (Al2O3.H2O) the Carboniferous or Permian age, is contained in clay rock, limestone or coal seams. A zonary red shale is usually located at the bottom of the bauxite and the red seam distributes over the irregular “karst-type” erosion face on the top of Ordovician limestone. Aluminum deposits in northern China are usually covered with a very thick Quaternary weathering.

 

The thickness and quality of deposits vary with our mine locations. Quality is usually consistent in smooth sections but changes sharply in karst “billabong” terrain. The level of hardness of minerals also varies. A sequence that includes a seam of hard bauxite of fine quality in the middle and soft bauxite of inferior quality on the bottom and top seams is common in deposits.

 

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Generally, deposits are horizontal or with an obliquity of 0 to 8 degrees, but there are also steep deposits at an angle of 75 degrees, such as in our Guizhou mine. Most of the original mineralization is not influenced by folds and faults, and some fractures of a low obliquity and folds emerge in certain deposits, which is evident in the Guizhou mine area. In most of the Guizhou mine area, the underground mining method must be used due to the obliquity of its bauxite body reaching 70 degrees with the influence of folds and several meters of dislocation arising from partial faults.

 

Economic Significance. Our bauxite deposits in China are divided into three groups. They are primarily distinguished by drill hole spacing and the composition of the deposit, which can encompass rock formations such as intercalated clays, bauxite, footwall iron clay or Ordovician limestone. Bauxite deposit groups vary in the thickness and mineral quality of its reserves.

 

We use the Chinese bauxite deposit estimation method, which is calculated using cut-off grades and thickness to outline continuous areas within the limits defined by samples of marginal grade. We utilize actual limiting sample points that are joined to create a polygonal outline, and grades are then calculated using a length weighted arithmetic average. We believe that the Chinese bauxite deposit estimation method of test boring, inspection pit, trial trench, density, tonnage analysis and calculation applied to the geological work of bauxite in China is an appropriate method to analyze these types of deposits.

 

Supply. To support the growth of our alumina production, we continuously seek opportunities to streamline and optimize our bauxite procurement. Except for Chalco Shandong, all of our refineries are located in the four provinces where over 90% of China’s potentially mineable bauxite has been found. We generally source our bauxite from mines close to our refineries to control transportation costs. Historically, we have procured our bauxite supply principally from three sources:

 

our own bauxite mining operations;

 

jointly-operated mines; and

 

other suppliers, which principally include small independent mines in China and international suppliers.

 

On average, our refineries consumed approximately 2.4 tonnes of bauxite to produce one tonne of alumina in 2019. Our mines supplied approximately 14.79 million tonnes of bauxite to our refineries in 2019. We purchase bauxite from a number of suppliers and do not depend on any supplier for our bauxite requirements. In 2019, bauxite secured from other suppliers accounted for approximately 62.4% of our total bauxite supply, primarily because our demand for bauxite exceeded the production of our mines.

 

The following table sets forth the volumes and percentages of bauxite supplied by our mines and other suppliers for the periods indicated:

 

  

Year Ended December 31,

 
   2017   2018   2019 
  

Bauxite
Supply

  

Percentage
of Bauxite
Supply

  

Bauxite
Supply

  

Percentage
of Bauxite
Supply

  

Bauxite
Supply

  

Percentage
of Bauxite
Supply

 
       %       %       % 
   (in thousand tonnes, except percentages) 
Own mines   14,679.6    47.0    15,498.0    43.6    14,791.2    37.6 
Other suppliers   16,566.5    53.0    20,043.6    56.4    24,499.9    62.4 
Total   31,246.1    100.0    35,541.6    100.0    39,291.1    100.0 

 

Own Mines. As of December 31, 2019, we owned and operated 18 mines in China that had approximately 253 million tonnes of aggregate bauxite reserves and we continue to explore new bauxite reserves to replenish our reserves. We had exploration rights to the bauxite mines in Laos through Lao Service Mining Co., Ltd., in which we held 60% of the equity interest. In April 2019, the Laos government cancelled the exploration rights held by Lao Service Mining Co., Ltd. as it had not continuously carried out related activities in the past years. We also hold the requisite mining permit for all the three bauxite mines in West Kalimantan, Indonesia through our 96.28% owned subsidiary, PT Nusapati Prima. Our bauxite deposits in Indonesia are lateritic gibbsite and were formed by weathering and leaching of aluminum-rich silicate rock in tropical climates. We have suspended our bauxite mining in Indonesia since September 2014 due to restraints on export of bauxite imposed by the Indonesian government. Since 2017, the Indonesian government has issued, and amended from time to time, relevant rules pursuant to which export of bauxite may be allowed upon satisfaction of certain requirements. We have been actively exploring the possibility of meeting these requirements. In addition, we own a bauxite mine in Guinea, and have the mining permit, through Chalco Guinea Company S.A., in which we indirectly held 85% of the equity interest.

 

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For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2018 and 2019, we extracted approximately 17.0 million tonnes, 17.3 million tonnes and 14.4 million tonnes, respectively, of bauxite from our domestic mines. The decrease in the volume of bauxite extracted from our mines in 2019 was primarily because the time of effective production by certain of our mines was reduced in response to the higher standards and requirements of environmental protection in certain areas as well as we were in the process of application for the administrative approvals for mining in new mining areas while some of our existing mining areas had become depleted. Our reported bauxite reserves for our mines in China do not exceed the quantities that we estimate could be extracted economically if future prices were at similar levels to average historical prices for bauxite or aluminum for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2018 and 2019, or the three year historical contracted prices for such commodities. However, we do not use the three year historical bauxite or aluminum price to determine bauxite reserves, nor did we utilize any currency conversion factors or pricing related mechanisms. Instead, the primary criteria are the specifications required by our aluminum refineries, as well as certain modifying factors that are dependent on reserve quality.

The following table sets forth information for our mines as of December 31, 2019: 

Mine Location Nature of
ownership
Mining
method
Permit
Renewal(1)
Present
Condition/
Current Stage
of Exploration
Bauxite
Production
(in thousand
tonnes)
Pingguo mine Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit June 2028 - April 2036 Fully developed and operational 5,988
Guizhou mine(2) Guizhou Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit/underground March 2019(3) - December 2038 Partly developed and operational 1,921
Zunyi mine Guizhou Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit/underground February 2020 – May 2029 Partly developed and operational 904
Xiaoyi mine Shanxi Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit June 2018(3) - September 2031 Partly developed and operational 843
Shanxi Other Mines Shanxi Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit/underground September 2017(3) - July 2035 Partly developed and operational 560
Mianchi mine Henan Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit/underground August 2020 - October 2031 Partly developed and operational 375
Luoyang mine Henan Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit/underground June 2022 - October 2031 Partly developed and operational 379
Xiaoguan mine Henan Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit/underground June 2019(3) - October 2031 Fully developed and operational 512
Gongyi mine Henan Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit/underground June 2020 - April 2029 Fully developed and operational 70
Dengfeng mine Henan Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit/underground September 2020 - June 2026 Partly developed and operational 11
Xinmi mine Henan Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit/underground February 2020(3) - August 2021 Partly developed and operational 8
Sanmenxia mine Henan Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Underground November 2021 - April 2027 Fully developed and operational 445
Xuchang mine Henan Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit/underground February 2019(3) - August 2024 Partly developed and operational 102
Jiaozuo mine Henan Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit/underground September 2018(3) - October 2024 Partly developed and operational 111
Pingdingshan mine Henan Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit/underground January 2021 - October 2024 Partly developed and operational 61
Yangquan mine Shanxi Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Open pit September 2031 - May 2036 Partly developed and operational 133

 

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Mine Location Nature of
ownership
Mining
method
Permit
Renewal(1)
Present
Condition/
Current Stage
of Exploration
Bauxite
Production
(in thousand
tonnes)
Nanchuan mine Chongqing Municipality, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Underground December 2022 - November 2026 In preparation for restarting operation
Huaxing mine Shanxi Province, China 100% owned and operated by Chalco Underground August 2020 - September 2020 Fully developed and operational 2,018
PT ALUSENTOSA West Kalimantan, Indonesia Owned and operated by PT Nusapati Prima, a 96.28% subsidiary of Chalco Open pit December 2027 Suspended production
PT KALMIN West Kalimantan, Indonesia Owned and operated by PT Nusapati Prima, a 96.28% subsidiary of Chalco Open pit December 2027 Suspended production
PT VISITAMA West Kalimantan, Indonesia Owned and operated by PT Nusapati Prima, a 96.28% subsidiary of Chalco Open pit November 2038 Pending production commencement
Boffa bauxite mine Boffa, Guinea Owned and operated by Chalco Guinea Company S.A., an 85% subsidiary of Chalco Open pit July 2033 Under construction

 

 
(1)All conditions to retain our properties or leases have been fulfilled as of December 31, 2019. Each mine may be covered by one or more mining permits or exploration permits and the range of permit renewal dates is set forth above.

(2)Including both Guizhou No. 1 mine and Guizhou No. 2 mine.

(3)We are in the process of renewing these permits.

 

We are required to obtain mining rights permits to conduct mining activities. Under PRC laws and regulations, a mining enterprise must prepare and submit exploration reports for a mine to the local government to obtain a mining rights permit for a mine. A mining right owner is also permitted to lease the mining right through a lease arrangement. The mining rights permit is subject to renewal on a regular basis.

 

Furthermore, the mining right owner is required to obtain land use rights on the land in order to operate the mines. We lease the land use rights relating to our mines in China from Chinalco pursuant to a land use rights lease agreement that became effective upon our formation. Chinalco’s land use rights relating to over 90% of our mining properties in China are for 50-year terms beginning on July 1, 2001. The remaining land use rights relating to other mines in China are for shorter terms, some as short as one year. All of our land use rights lease agreements end on the expiry date of the mining rights or the end of the working life of the mine, whichever is earlier. Both the land use rights and land use rights lease agreements are renewable.

 

For our mines in Indonesia and Guinea, neither proven nor probable reserves have been established in accordance with United States Securities and Exchange Commission Industry Guide 7 as of the date of this annual report (“Industry Guide 7”). The following table sets forth certain estimated details of the reserves for our mines in China as of December 31, 2019:

 

Mine

Reserves (1)(2)
(million tonnes)

Al2O3 

S1O2

Ratio of
Average A/S(3) 

Pingguo mine 80.08 52.96 4.94 10.72
Guizhou mine(4) 41.68 64.15 9.06 7.08
Zunyi mine 10.36 59.17 10.59 5.59
Xiaoyi mine 10.29 65.74 12.08 5.44
Shanxi Other Mines 17.73 63.15 13.20 4.78
Mianchi mine 2.60 63.52 12.01 5.29
Luoyang mine 2.53 61.25 10.17 6.02
Xiaoguan mine 17.83 64.26 13.45 4.78
Gongyi mine 2.31 64.91 12.94 5.02
Dengfeng mine 1.25 61.84 13.22 4.68
Xinmi mine 1.08 65.51 12.77 5.13
Sanmenxia mine 42.10 63.01 12.97 4.86
Xuchang mine 1.11 62.88 9.07 6.94

 

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Mine

Reserves (1)(2)
(million tonnes)

Al2O3 

S1O2

Ratio of
Average A/S(3) 

Jiaozuo mine 0.24 61.50 12.51 4.92
Pingdingshan mine 2.92 63.06 13.19 4.78
Yangquan mine 1.01 58.35 13.95 4.18
Nanchuan mine 14.19 58.53 15.50 3.77
Huaxing Mine 3.53 62.12 8.87 7.00
Total (average) reserves 252.83 59.79 9.74 6.14
By reserve type        
Proven reserve 77.04 60.67 10.29 5.90
Probable reserve 175.78 59.41 9.49 6.26
Total (average) reserves 252.83 59.79 9.74 6.14

 

 
(1)Our reserves take into consideration mining dilution and loss factors, which generally vary from 5% to 10% and are based on the planned mining method and selected drill data for each site.

(2)Our metallurgical recovery factors are calculated in accordance with the relevant PRC mining standards and vary from mine to mine.

(3)Refers to the ratio of average grade of Al2O3 to the average grade of SiO2 of the reserves.

(4)Including both Guizhou No. 1 mine and Guizhou No. 2 mine.

 

We have been in compliance with the National Mining Safety Law and related rules and regulations in China. We closely supervise and routinely inspect mining conditions with continual implementation of safety measures and procedures at our own bauxite mines and safety training for our mining personnel. In 2019, we extracted approximately 14.4 million tonnes of bauxite from our domestic mines and did not experience any mining operation related accidents that involved serious work injuries or death. 

Other Suppliers. In addition to our mines, we also source bauxite from other suppliers. The majority of other domestic suppliers are small independent mines. Small independent mines are not affiliated with us and generally have annual bauxite production capacities not exceeding 200,000 tonnes. These mines have been an important source of bauxite for our operations. We purchase bauxite directly from small independent mines or through local distributors that procure bauxite from these mines. In addition, we also secure a portion of bauxite overseas. Bauxite secured from other suppliers accounted for 62.4% of our total bauxite supply in 2019.

 

Bauxite Procurement. The corporate management department at our headquarters is responsible for the oversight and coordination of our supply of bauxite in general. The marketing and procurement department is responsible for management and coordination of procurement of imported bauxite. To determine how our bauxite requirement will be allocated among our principal sources each year, we first estimate our total bauxite needs for the year. Based on market conditions, production costs and other factors, we determine the amount of bauxite that we wish to source from our mines, and the remaining requirements from other suppliers.

 

Alumina-to-Silica Ratio. The production method for alumina refining is determined by the mineral composition of the bauxite, in particular, its alumina-to-silica ratio. Most of the bauxite reserves in China are diasporic with low alumina-to-silica ratios. Based on our current technology and economic considerations, an efficient application of the Bayer process requires bauxite with an alumina-to-silica ratio of 5:1 or higher, while the Bayer-sintering process can refine bauxite with an alumina-to-silica ratio as low as 4:1. In 2019, the average alumina-to-silica ratio of the proven and probable reserves of our mines ranges from approximately 3.77:1 to 10.72:1.

 

Prices. There is neither governmental regulation on bauxite prices nor an official trading market for bauxite in China. We negotiate bauxite prices with our suppliers based on ore quality, mining costs, market conditions, transportation costs and various governmental taxes or levies, including a resource tax imposed by local governments. Our total bauxite cost is currently influenced by the following factors:

 

the cost of our mining operations;

 

the market conditions relating to purchases from small independent mines; and

 

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the market conditions relating to purchases from overseas.

 

The average purchase price of bauxite per tonne from our other suppliers in 2017, 2018 and 2019 was approximately RMB369, RMB413 and RMB430 respectively. The average cost of bauxite per tonne from our mines in 2017, 2018 and 2019 was approximately RMB226, RMB246 and RMB242, respectively.

 

We purchase a substantial amount of bauxite to satisfy our alumina production needs. Additionally, to fully utilize the bauxite from our mines, we refine all bauxite that meets the minimum technical requirements for our production of alumina. We also purchase higher grade ore from other suppliers and blend the ore of various grades to meet the technical requirements for our alumina production. This practice allows for flexibility and the inclusion of lower grade bauxite to optimize the use of bauxite deposits available to us. We do not use our historical average purchase prices or any other historical index to estimate our bauxite reserves.

 

The following table sets forth our capital expenditures for our bauxite mines for the periods indicated:

 

  

Year Ended December 31,

 
  

2017

  

2018

  

2019

 
   (RMB in thousands) 
Capital Expenditures               
Infrastructure construction   405,920.0    368,357.4    1,314,802.9(1)
Facility upgrade   24,016.9    74,632.7    6,079.8 
Total   429,936.9    442,990.1    1,320,882.7 

 

 
(1)The significant increase in capital expenditures on infrastructure construction in 2019 was primarily attributable to the construction of the Boffa Project. See “– A. History and Development of the Company – Boffa Project” for more details.

 

Primary Aluminum

 

An average of approximately 1.91 tonnes of alumina and 13,350 kWh of electricity was required to produce one tonne of primary aluminum ingots in 2019.

 

Alumina and electricity, the two principal components of costs in the smelting process, accounted for approximately 43% and 34%, respectively, of our unit primary aluminum production costs in 2019. Apart from alumina and electricity, we also require carbon anodes, carbon cathodes, fluoride salt and cryolite for our smelting operations.

 

Alumina is the main raw material used in the production of primary aluminum. Our primary aluminum plants that do not have integrated alumina refining operations onsite obtain alumina internally from our alumina refineries located elsewhere or externally on the market.

 

Supplemental Materials, Electricity and Fuel

 

The marketing and procurement department at our headquarters coordinates and manages our supply chain for all our major raw materials in conjunction with the procurement center at each production facility, which manages the logistics and inventory of raw materials locally. We are able to purchase diesel, the main fuel used by our mining and manufacturing equipment, from the public markets, and we source our water from local rivers, lakes or underground sources.

 

Alumina

 

Electricity, coal, alkali (caustic soda or soda ash) and natural gas are the principal materials and energy used in our alumina production. Electricity is one of the principal cost components in our refining process. We generate electricity at a number of alumina refineries and purchase our remaining electric power requirements from regional power grids at government-mandated rates or directly from power generation enterprises. Most of our power supply agreements have a term of one year and are renewed by mutual agreement. Power prices in China can vary, sometimes substantially, from one region to another, based on demand and power production costs in the region. Power costs for our various alumina refineries vary accordingly.

 

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Large quantities of coal are used as a reducing agent and fuel to produce steam and gas in the alumina refining process. As of December 31, 2019, we held minority interests in a number of coal mining enterprises, including Shanxi Jiexiu, Qinghai Energy, Xuehugou Coal Industry Co., Ltd., Huasheng Wanjie Coal Co., Ltd., Dongdong Coal, Chalco Liupanshui, Huozhou Coal Group Xingshengyuan Coal Co., Ltd., and Guizhou Yuneng. We hold 70% of the equity interest in Gansu Huayang, which holds exploration rights for certain portion of Luochuan mine in Gansu Province. We have also acquired 70.82% of the equity interest in the Ningxia Energy, which holds mining rights for coal deposits in Ningxia Autonomous Region.

 

Guizhou Yuneng, an associate company in which we hold 25% of the equity interest, has been under development. In 2019, one of the coal mines under its construction was put into production, and another coal mine under its construction is expected to be put into operation in May 2020. The operation of Huozhou Coal Group Xingshengyuan Coal Co., Ltd. has been suspended for technological upgrade. Chalco Liupanshui filed bankruptcy in 2019 as a result of the supply-side structural reform carried out by the PRC government in the coal industry and the bankruptcy has been accepted by the court. The rest of the coal mining enterprises in which we directly or indirectly have minority equity interests are currently in the extraction or trial production stage. See “- D. Property, Plants and Equipment” for details of coal mines that we operate. By investing in coal mining enterprises and acquiring mining rights for coal deposits, we plan to partially offset our future energy costs.

 

Alkali is used as a supplemental material in alumina refining. The Bayer-sintering process and the Bayer-sintering combined process require soda ash while caustic soda is used in the Bayer process. Our alumina refineries use natural gas and coal gas as fuel to refine alumina. There is no governmental regulation of the prices of coal, alkali or fuel. We purchase these raw materials from external suppliers under negotiated supply contracts, which we believe are competitively priced. We have not experienced difficulty in obtaining these materials in sufficient quantity and at acceptable prices.

 

Primary Aluminum

 

Electricity, carbon anodes and cathodes are the principal materials and energy used in our smelting process. Smelting primary aluminum requires a substantial and continuous supply of electricity. The availability and price of electricity are key factors in our primary aluminum production. See “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects - A. Operating Results - Overview - Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations - Manufacturing Costs.”

 

We generate electricity at four of our smelters to supply a portion of the electricity consumed by these smelters. We purchase our remaining electric power requirements directly from power generation enterprises. As of December 31, 2019, nine of our smelters had direct purchase arrangement with power generation enterprises. Direct purchase transactions are normally organized by the local government and the direct purchase agreements are entered into annually. Because power prices in China vary from one region to another, power costs for our various smelters could vary substantially. The average electricity cost (including tax) of our smelters was approximately RMB0.32/kWh in 2019, which decreased by 4% compared to 2018, primarily due to the decrease in outsourced electricity price resulting from our negotiation with electric power plants and the adjustments of our production capacity of primary aluminum, including halting the primary aluminum production by Shandong Huayu and Shanxi Huasheng, which smelters used to incur relatively high electricity costs.

 

Carbon anodes and cathodes are key raw materials in the smelting process. We are generally able to manufacture carbon anodes necessary for the operations of our smelters. In addition, our Qinghai branch possesses production capacity of carbon cathodes and is able to manufacture carbon cathodes products.

 

Sales and Marketing

 

We coordinate substantially all of our sales and marketing activities for our self-produced alumina products and some of our sales and marketing activities for our self-produced primary aluminum products through Chalco Trading Group. Our subsidiaries and branches sell some of our self-produced primary aluminum products directly to external customers. Our alumina refineries sell our self-produced chemical alumina products directly to external customers or indirectly through Chalco Trading Group for subsequent external trading. For all of our self-produced products that are sold either through Chalco Trading Group for subsequent external sale or directly to external customers, our subsidiaries and branches play an important role in providing after-sale services and strengthening our presence in the marketplace. Since late 2009, we also have been engaged substantially in the trading of non-ferrous metal products including alumina, primary aluminum, copper, zinc and lead as well as coal products that we source from third-party suppliers through Chalco Trading Group, or previously Chalco Trading.

 

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Alumina

 

We sell our self-produced alumina to external customers primarily through Chalco Trading Group, giving priority to customers with whom we have long-standing relationships and who have established a strong credit history, after reserving sufficient alumina for our forecasted primary aluminum production. In 2019, we supplied approximately 6.57 million tonnes of alumina produced at our alumina refineries to our smelters, which represented approximately 48% of our total alumina production, and sold the remainder to our customers. In addition, we also procure and sell outsourced alumina under long-term agreements or on the spot market through Chalco Trading Group. We sold approximately 2.26 million tonnes of outsourced alumina in 2019.

 

The sales prices of alumina that our alumina refineries sell internally to Chalco Trading Group are determined based on our budgeted sale prices, spot market prices and the prices of primary aluminum on SHFE. Chalco Trading Group coordinates the external negotiation and execution of sales contracts of our alumina products. Chalco Trading Group sells our self-produced alumina and alumina sourced from third-party suppliers to customers throughout China. Most of our major customers in the past three years have been domestic smelters. We primarily sourced alumina from third-party suppliers on the spot market, and we are normally required to pay the full price of the outsourced alumina before each delivery.

 

Chalco Trading Group sells our self-produced alumina and outsourced alumina under spot sales agreements and long-term sales agreements with terms ranging from one year to three years. Our long-term sales agreement for alumina normally sets forth the quantity of alumina to be sold by us in each month and each year, the price determination mechanism, payment method, place of delivery and delivery method. Places of delivery under our sales agreements are arranged to be where we could efficiently manage the transportation of alumina and help reduce logistics cost. Our customers are normally required to pay for their procurement before each delivery. As a result, the spot price of alumina and fluctuations of primary aluminum prices on the SHFE affect the alumina prices at which we sell.

 

Chalco Trading Group sets the price for the external sales of alumina products after taking into account the following factors:

 

international and domestic supply-demand situation;

 

CIF Chinese ports prices for alumina imports into China and other relevant import expenses;

 

international and domestic alumina transportation costs;

 

effects of the PRC government’s policies on raw materials required by our alumina refineries; and

 

our short-term and mid-term projections for alumina prices.

 

Primary Aluminum

 

We sell all of our self-produced and outsourced primary aluminum to domestic customers. We expect China to remain our key market for primary aluminum for the foreseeable future. Customers of our primary aluminum products principally consist of aluminum fabricators and distributors that resell our primary aluminum products to aluminum fabricators or other purchasers.

 

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To improve the efficiency of our distribution, we divide our China market into the following regions: southern China (including Guangdong and Fujian Provinces); eastern China (including Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces and Shanghai Municipality); southwestern China (including Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality); the Beijing-Tianjin-Tanggu area; and central China. In general, we satisfy each purchase order with products from our nearest smelter to minimize transportation costs.

 

Our primary aluminum smelting subsidiaries and branches sell a portion of our primary aluminum output directly to external customers. Each of our smelters is normally responsible for the sale of products to the customers from neighboring markets, negotiating the pricing and delivery terms based on market conditions.

 

Our primary aluminum smelting subsidiaries and branches also sell a portion of our primary aluminum output internally to Chalco Trading Group at prices based on the spot prices of primary aluminum on Yangtze or Nanchu. We establish pricing guidelines for Chalco Trading Group to conduct external domestic sales of our self-produced primary aluminum products, taking into account four main factors: the primary aluminum spot prices and futures price on the SHFE; spot prices in the regions of eastern China and southern China; our production costs and expected profit margins; and supply and demand. Chalco Trading Group then coordinates the external sales of primary aluminum. Chalco Trading Group sells our self-produced primary aluminum products to external customers through the following three channels:

 

Contract sales. Most of our primary aluminum sales are made pursuant to contracts entered into directly with our long-standing customers. The terms for our sales contracts for primary aluminum are typically one year. We price our primary aluminum products based on the SHFE prices and spot market prices for primary aluminum.

 

Sales on the SHFE. As part of our effort to manage market risk, we sell a portion of our primary aluminum products on the SHFE through futures contracts with terms ranging from one month to twelve months to hedge against declines in primary aluminum prices.

 

Sales on the spot market. We also sell our primary aluminum products on the spot market at prices with reference to various factors, such as market spot prices and transportation costs.

 

In addition, we also procure and sell outsourced primary aluminum on the spot market or through short-term futures and options transactions. We determine our sales prices of the outsourced primary aluminum through negotiations with our customers, taking into consideration factors including our procurement prices and the prevailing market conditions. We sold approximately 1.03 million tonnes of outsourced primary aluminum in 2019.

 

Chemical alumina products and Gallium

 

Chemical alumina products are derived from our alumina production. We adjust our production of these products based on market demand. Our alumina refineries sell our chemical alumina products directly to external customers or indirectly to external customers through Chalco Trading Group for subsequent external trading. We sell most of our chemical alumina products in China. Prices for our chemical alumina products are determined through negotiations with our customers, taking into consideration the market conditions.

 

In addition, in the process of refining bauxite into alumina, we used to produce gallium as a by-product. We adjusted our production of gallium based on market demand and sold all of gallium in China. Prices for our gallium were determined through negotiations with our customers, taking into consideration the market conditions. Our total sales of gallium in 2017, 2018 and 2019 amounted to approximately RMB74 million, RMB147 million and RMB97 million, respectively. In August 2019, we made a capital contribution with all of our gallium assets to China Rare Metals and Rare Earths Company Ltd. and are not engaged in gallium production currently. See “- A. History and Development of the Company - Capital Contribution to China Rare Metals and Rare Earths Company Ltd. with Gallium Assets” for details.

 

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Coal

 

Ningxia Energy sells a portion of its self-produced coal directly to external customers through short-term contracts at prices determined through negotiations with our customers, taking into consideration factors including our procurement prices and prevailing market conditions. Ningxia Energy consumes the rest of its self-produced coal at its own electric power plant.

 

In addition, we also procure and sell outsourced coal under long-term agreements or on the spot market through Chalco Trading Group. We sold approximately 6.60 million tonnes of outsourced coal in 2019.

 

Trading of Outsourced Non-ferrous Metal Products and Other Materials

 

Since late 2009, we have been actively engaged in the trading of alumina and primary aluminum sourced from third-party suppliers. Please see “- Alumina” and “- Primary Aluminum” for more details. Through Chalco Trading Group, we also sell other non-ferrous metal products such as copper, zinc and lead as well as coal products that we procure from our third-party suppliers to external customers on the spot market or under long-term sales agreements. Please see “- Coal.” In 2019, we sold approximately 1.42 million tonnes of outsourced copper, zinc and lead. In addition, we also sell outsourced raw and ancillary materials such as iron ore, charred coal and cathode copper in bulk to customers such as steel manufacturers and copper processing companies on the spot market.

 

Chalco Trading Group has a team with trading expertise to conduct research on the markets of non-ferrous metal products and other materials. From time to time, we may enter into futures and options transactions to hedge against price fluctuations in the non-ferrous metal product market.

 

Delivery

 

We rely on rail shipping and trucks for the delivery of products within China.

 

Our alumina is transported by rail or trucks, and transportation costs are generally borne by our customers and excluded from our sales prices. For long-distance deliveries, we maintain spur lines connecting our plants to the national railway routes.

 

Most of our primary aluminum products are transported by rail, and our coal products are transported both by trucks and by rail.

 

Rail shipping on the PRC national railway system is subject to government mandated pricing.

 

Principal Facilities

 

Our principal facilities include 22 principal production plants and our Zhengzhou Institute. Set forth below is a description of our principal production plants.

 

Guangxi Branch

 

Our Guangxi branch commenced operations in 1994 and is located in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwestern China, an area rich in bauxite reserves. Our Guangxi branch obtains bauxite delivered via highway from our Pingguo mine, one of our wholly-owned mines, located less than 17 kilometers from our Guangxi branch.

 

Our Pingguo mine contains large, easily exploitable bauxite reserves with high alumina-to-silica ratios. Our Guangxi branch is our only principal refinery that exclusively uses the Bayer process. With technology and production equipment imported from Europe, the Guangxi refinery features a high level of automation and energy efficiency. Since its inception, we have continually increased the designed production capacity at this branch by overcoming production bottlenecks and investing in capacity expansions. Guangxi branch had an annual alumina production capacity of approximately 2,210,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019. In 2019, our Guangxi branch produced approximately 2,459,840 tonnes of alumina, along with approximately 128,030 tonnes of chemical alumina products.

 

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Guizhou Branch

 

Our Guizhou branch commenced its smelting operations in 1966 and was subsequently expanded to include alumina refining operations in 1978. Our Guizhou branch used 160Ka and 230Ka pre-bake reduction pot-lines in its primary aluminum production. The smelter in our Guizhou branch has undergone technological innovations and overhauls since its inception. Since November 2017, we have been engaged in the gradual closing down of the 160Ka pre-bake reduction pot-lines and, subsequently, the closing down of the 230Ka pre-bake reduction pot-lines. As of January 2018, the production in Guizhou branch had been fully shut down. In 2019, we disposed of the primary aluminum production facilities in Guizhou branch. Guizhou branch did not have any annual primary aluminum production capacity as of December 31, 2019 and did not produce any primary aluminum in 2019. It was mainly engaged in bauxite mining in 2019.

 

Chalco Mining

 

Chalco Mining was incorporated as one of our subsidiaries in the PRC in 2007 and is currently our wholly owned subsidiary. To optimize the allocation of our resources and further consolidate our operations, we transferred all of the assets and liabilities of our Henan branch to Chalco Mining in August 2017. Henan branch commenced its alumina refining operation in 1966 and primary aluminum smelting operation in 1967 (the latter of which was ceased in 2013) in Henan Province, a province rich in bauxite reserves. It was the first refinery in China to develop the Bayer-sintering combined process. Bauxite is delivered to Chalco Mining via railway and highway from our following mines: Xiaoguan mine, Gongyi mine and Dengfeng mine located in Zhengzhou, Luoyang mine in Luoyang, Mianchi mine in Mianchi, Xuchang mine in Zhengzhou, Sanmenxia mine in Sanmenxia and Jiaozuo mine in Jiaozuo. The alumina production line that we put into operation at Chalco Mining uses the ore-dressing Bayer process, which we developed to refine low alumina-to-silica ratio bauxite. Chalco Mining’s production facilities have been substantially upgraded with equipment imported from Germany and Denmark. The refinery has also benefited from its access to high alumina-to-silica ratio bauxite from certain of our mines and through purchases on the market. Chalco Mining had an annual alumina production capacity of approximately 2,410,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019. In 2019, Chalco Mining produced approximately 1,235,390 tonnes of alumina and 98,850 tonnes of chemical alumina products.

 

Chalco Shandong

 

Chalco Shandong was incorporated as one of our subsidiaries in the PRC in 2015 and is currently our wholly owned subsidiary. The predecessor of Chalco Shandong was our Shandong branch, which commenced operations in 1954. Chalco Shandong has the capacity to produce alumina and chemical alumina products. Bauxite is delivered to Chalco Shandong via railway and highway from the Yangquan mine in Yangquan, Shanxi Province. Its alumina refinery was China’s first production facility for alumina. It produces its alumina through the Bayer-sintering process and the Bayer process. Through technology renovation, Chalco Shandong has the capacity to produce high-quality alumina products used for the production of refined aluminum and high-purity aluminum. Chalco Shandong purchases some bauxite from overseas and the rest from small third-party mines in Henan and Shanxi Provinces. Chalco Shandong had an annual alumina production capacity of approximately 2,270,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019. It produced approximately 1,567,980 tonnes of alumina in 2019.

 

In addition, Chalco Shandong produces substantial amount of chemical alumina products. In 2019, it produced approximately 2,528,170 tonnes of chemical alumina products. It is the largest and most technologically advanced production facility for chemical alumina products in China with the ability to produce a wide variety of chemical alumina products.

 

Chalco Shandong had engaged in primary aluminum production before we suspended the operations of its primary aluminum production facilities in June 2013. In 2017, the disposal of Chalco Shandong’s primary aluminum production facilities was completed. Chalco Shandong did not have any annual primary aluminum production capacity as of December 31, 2019 and did not produce any primary aluminum in 2019.

 

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Qinghai Branch

 

Located in Qinghai Province, our Qinghai branch is a stand-alone primary aluminum production facility. This branch commenced operations in 1987 and is one of the most technologically advanced primary aluminum smelters in China. It operates 180Ka and 210Ka automated pre-bake anode reduction pot-lines that were developed domestically. In addition, our Qinghai branch also possesses production capacity of carbon cathodes and is able to manufacture carbon cathodes products. Our Qinghai branch benefits from relatively low electricity costs in Qinghai Province due to the hydroelectric power stations in the region. The Qinghai branch sources alumina from Shanxi New Material, Chalco Shandong, Chalco Mining and Zhongzhou Aluminum and incurs higher transportation costs for both raw materials and its primary aluminum products than our other branches.

 

Our Qinghai branch had an annual primary aluminum production capacity of approximately 420,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019. It produced approximately 408,400 tonnes of primary aluminum in 2019.

 

Guizhou Huaren

 

Established in May 2017 and located in Qingzhen, Guizhou Province, Guizhou Huaren is a stand-alone primary aluminum production facility and commenced full operation in September 2018. Guizhou Huaren had an annual primary aluminum production capacity of approximately 400,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019. It produced approximately 479,500 tonnes of primary aluminum products in 2019.

 

Shanxi Zhongrun

 

Established in November 2015 and located in Lvliang, Shanxi Province, Shanxi Zhongrun specializes in producing primary aluminum products. The first batch of electrolytic cells of Shangxi Zhongrun was put into operations in May 2018. Shanxi Zhongrun had an annual primary aluminum production capacity of approximately 432,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019. It produced approximately 181,200 tonnes of primary aluminum products in 2019.

 

Zhongzhou Aluminum

 

Located in Henan Province, Zhongzhou Aluminum is a stand-alone alumina plant, located near abundant bauxite, coal and water supplies. Zhongzhou Aluminum was incorporated as one of our subsidiaries in the PRC in 2015 and is currently our wholly owned subsidiary. The predecessor of Zhongzhou Aluminum was our Zhongzhou branch. Zhongzhou Aluminum commenced operations in 1993 and is equipped with imported and self-developed technology and has undergone various improvements and upgrades, in particular to its Bayer-sintering process and Bayer process. Zhongzhou Aluminum obtains bauxite supplies partly from extractions of our mines, and partly from external suppliers in Henan and Shanxi Provinces and overseas.

 

Zhongzhou Aluminum had an annual alumina production capacity of approximately 3,050,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019. Zhongzhou Aluminum produced approximately 2,132,760 tonnes of alumina and approximately 777,920 tonnes of chemical alumina products in 2019.

 

Chongqing Branch

 

Our Chongqing branch is located in Chongqing. Chongqing branch completed the construction of alumina production facilities in 2010 and its annual alumina production capacity was approximately 800,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019. We have suspended production in Chongqing branch since July 2014 due to the relatively significant decrease in the price of alumina as compared with the price of alumina during the construction period, large negative variation of mineral resources and the high costs of natural gas and other energy at the time of suspension. In 2018, we entered into agreements with a third party to lease the alumina production facilities of Chongqing branch and to cooperate on mine operations, respectively. In 2019, we received RMB115 million for leasing alumina production facilities and RMB3.4 million for cooperation on mine operations, respectively.

 

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Guizhou Huajin

 

Established in July 2014 and located in Qingzhen, Guizhou Province, Guizhou Huajin specializes in producing alumina products. Guizhou Huajin had an annual alumina production capacity of approximately 1,600,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019. Guizhou Huajin produced approximately 1,612,880 tonnes of alumina products in 2019.

 

Shanxi Huaxing

 

Located in Shanxi Province, Shanxi Huaxing is a stand-alone alumina plant which commenced trial production in October 2013. Shanxi Huaxing obtains bauxite supplies from our own mines delivered primarily via highway and is located near abundant coal and water supplies.

 

In December 2015, we transferred out 50% of our equity interests in Shanxi Huaxing, a then wholly-owned subsidiary of our Company, through the Shanghai United Assets and Equity Exchange. In December 2018, we acquired the 50% equity interests in Shanxi Huaxing through the Shanghai United Assets and Equity Exchange from Baotou Transportation Investment Group Co., Ltd. Upon completion of the acquisition, Shanxi Huaxing became our wholly-owned subsidiary. Please see “- A. History and Development of the Company - Transfer of Equity Interest in Shanxi Huaxing” for more details about the transfer of equity interest.

 

Shanxi Huaxing had an annual alumina production capacity of approximately 2,000,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019. Shanxi Huaxing produced approximately 1,256,340 tonnes of alumina products in 2019.

 

Lanzhou Aluminum

 

Located in Lanzhou city in Gansu Province, Lanzhou Aluminum is a stand-alone primary aluminum plant. In April 2007, we acquired a primary aluminum plant in Lanzhou, which was divided in to two parts in July 2007: our Lanzhou branch and Northwest Aluminum. In January 2019, we turned the Lanzhou branch into our wholly-owned subsidiary, Lanzhou Aluminum, in order to promote its business vitality. Lanzhou Aluminum owns a primary aluminum smelting plant with a designed annual primary aluminum production capacity of approximately 450,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019. It produced approximately 408,500 tonnes of primary aluminum in 2019.

 

Shanxi New Material

 

Shanxi New Material is situated in Shanxi Province. In March 2003, we established the joint venture company, Shanxi Huaze, with Zhangze Electric Power to commence the construction of a primary aluminum production facility. In 2017, we contributed certain assets related to alumina production of our Shanxi branch to Shanxi Huaze. Upon completion of our asset contribution, our shareholding in Shanxi Huaze increased from 60% to 85.98% and Shanxi Huaze was renamed to Shanxi New Material. Shanxi New Material had an annual alumina production capacity of approximately 2,600,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019 and produced approximately 1,771,020 tonnes of alumina and 94,620 tonnes of chemical alumina products in 2019. Its designed annual production capacity of primary aluminum was approximately 424,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019 and it produced approximately 365,800 tonnes of primary aluminum in 2019. Please see “- A. History and Development of the Company - Merger and Reorganization of Shanxi Branch and Shanxi Huaze” for more details about the reorganization.

 

Shanxi Huasheng

 

Shanxi Huasheng is situated in Shanxi Province. In December 2005, we entered into a joint venture agreement with Shanxi Guan Lv Company Limited to establish a joint venture company, Shanxi Huasheng. Shanxi Huasheng commenced operations in March 2006. We currently hold 51% equity interest in Shanxi Huasheng. In 2019, Shanxi Huasheng produced approximately 60,900 tonnes of primary aluminum. In June 2019, Shanxi Huasheng transferred its primary aluminum capacity quota to Yixin Aluminum and no longer had any annual primary aluminum production capacity as of December 31, 2019. See “- A. History and Development of the Company - Transfer of Primary Aluminum Capacity Quota of Shanxi Huasheng” for details.

 

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Zunyi Aluminum

 

Zunyi Aluminum is situated in Guizhou Province. In 2018, we merged Zunyi Alumina into Zunyi Aluminum. Upon the completion of the merger, our shareholding in Zunyi Aluminum increased from 62.1% to 67.445%. After the merger, Zunyi Aluminum had an annual alumina production capacity of approximately 1,000,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019 and the aggregate production of Zunyi Aluminum was approximately 1,102,340 tonnes of alumina and 16,150 tonnes of chemical alumina products in 2019. Its post-merger designed annual production capacity of primary aluminum was approximately 375,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019 and it produced approximately 404,500 tonnes of primary aluminum in 2019. Please see “- A. History and Development of the Company - Merger and Reorganization of Zunyi Alumina and Zunyi Aluminum” for more details about the merger.

 

Fushun Aluminum

 

Fushun Aluminum is situated in Liaoning Province, and was a stand-alone primary aluminum plant. In March 2006, we entered into a share transfer agreement with Liaoning Fushun Aluminum Plant to acquire 100% of the equity interests in Fushun Aluminum for a consideration of RMB500 million. Fushun Aluminum’s primary business was the production of primary aluminum and carbon products. We stopped production of primary aluminum in Fushun Aluminum in October 2015 due to the relatively significant decrease in the price of primary aluminum and high costs of electricity at that time. In 2018, we disposed of the primary aluminum production facilities in Fushun Aluminum. Fushun Aluminum did not have any annual primary aluminum production capacity as of December 31, 2019 and did not produce any primary aluminum in 2019.

 

Fushun Aluminum had an annual anode carbon production capacity of approximately 530,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019 and it produced approximately 169,029 tonnes of baked carbon anodes in 2019.

 

Shandong Huayu

 

Shandong Huayu is situated in Shandong Province and is a stand-alone primary aluminum plant. We currently hold 55% equity interest in Shandong Huayu. Shandong Huayu had an annual primary aluminum production capacity of approximately 200,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019. Since November 2018, we have gradually suspended production of aluminum at Shandong Huayu due to market environment and production restriction for environmental protection. In 2019, we halted its primary aluminum production and before that Shandong Huayu produced approximately 8,500 tonnes of primary aluminum in 2019. Shandong Huayu also has supporting facilities and coal-fired generators. We are considering the plan of transformation, upgrading and development of Shandong Huayu.

 

Gansu Hualu

 

Gansu Hualu is situated in Gansu Province, and is a stand-alone primary aluminum plant. In August 2006, we entered into a share transfer agreement with Baiyin Nonferrous Metal (Group) Co., Ltd. (“Baiyin Nonferrous”) and Baiyin Ibis Aluminum Co., Ltd. (“Baiyin Ibis”). Baiyin Nonferrous contributed 127,000 tonnes of primary aluminum smelting and supporting facilities owned by Baiyin Ibis as capital contribution and holds a 49% equity interest in Gansu Hualu. We hold a 51% equity interest in Gansu Hualu. Since November 2015, the production of primary aluminum has been suspended. In 2019, most of the primary aluminum production facilities in Gansu Hualu has been disposed and the rest is expected to be disposed in the first half of 2020. Gansu Hualu had no annual primary aluminum production capacity as of December 31, 2019 and did not produce any primary aluminum in 2019.

 

In addition, Gansu Hualu also possesses production capacity of carbon products. Its designed annual production capacity of anode carbon products was approximately 150,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019 and it produced approximately 27,318 tonnes of anode carbon products in 2019.

 

Baotou Aluminum

 

Baotou Aluminum is located in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and is a stand-alone primary aluminum plant. On December 28, 2007, through A Shares issuance and exchange for Baotou Aluminum shares, we acquired 100% of the equity interest of Baotou Aluminum. Baotou Aluminum is currently our wholly owned subsidiary. In April 2015, Baotou Aluminum and Baotou Transportation Investment Group Co., Ltd. established Inner Mongolia Huayun. Inner Mongolia Huayun commenced operations in 2017. Together with the primary aluminum production facilities at Inner Mongolia Huayun, Baotou Aluminum had a consolidated annual primary aluminum production capacity of approximately 1,340,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019 and a consolidated output of approximately 1,315,300 tonnes of primary aluminum in 2019.

 

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Liancheng Branch

 

Liancheng branch is located in Gansu Province. In late May 2008, we acquired 100% of the equity interest in Liancheng Longxing Aluminum Company Limited from Chinalco on the China Beijing Equity Exchange and subsequently turned it into our Liancheng branch which specializes in producing primary aluminum. We have implemented flexible production arrangement for certain primary aluminum production facilities in Liancheng branch since November 2018 as a result of high electricity costs. Liancheng branch had an annual primary aluminum production capacity of approximately 550,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019. It produced approximately 155,200 tonnes of primary aluminum in 2019.

 

Ningxia Energy

 

Ningxia Energy is an integrated power generation company with coal mines located in Ningxia Autonomous Region. Its principal business includes conventional coal-fire power generation and renewable energy generation. Ningxia Energy was established in June 2003. In January 2013, we acquired an aggregate of 70.82% of the equity interest in Ningxia Energy. Ningxia Energy had a total installed capacity of 4,249.13 MW as of December 31, 2019. It also operates coal mines located in the Ningxia Autonomous Region. Please see “- D. Property, Plants and Equipment - Mines - Coal Mines.” Its principal business includes conventional coal-fire power generation and renewable energy generation. In 2019, Ningxia Energy produced approximately 10.8 million tonnes of coal and approximately 15.8 billion kWh of electricity.

 

Zhengzhou Institute

 

The Zhengzhou Institute, located in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, was incorporated as our subsidiaries in 2015. Its predecessor was established in August 1965 and has served as the center for our research and development efforts. The Zhengzhou Institute specializes in the research and development of technologies for primary aluminum smelting, alumina refining and the development of new products of chemical alumina. Zhengzhou Institute is the only professional research institute in China dedicated to the research and development of aluminum smelting technologies and has played a key role in bringing about technological innovations in China’s aluminum industry. The Zhengzhou Institute was approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the PRC in 2003 to establish the National Research Center of Aluminum Refinery Technologies and Engineering. As of December 31, 2019, the Zhengzhou Institute had a limited production capacity for chemical alumina products, which it uses in connection with its research and development efforts. 

Xinghua Technology

 

We acquired a 66% equity interest in Xinghua Technology in December 2016. Located at Shanxi Province, Xinghua Technology is an alumina plant with an annual alumina production capacity of approximately 900,000 tonnes as of December 31, 2019. It produced approximately 664,750 tonnes of alumina and approximately 88,000 tonnes of chemical alumina in 2019.

 

Competition

 

Competition from Domestic Competitors

 

Alumina

 

In 2019, we supplied approximately 48% of our total production of alumina to our own smelters and sold substantially all of the remaining self-produced alumina to our domestic customers. Our competitors mainly include other domestic and international alumina producers that conduct sales in China. In 2019, our alumina production (with chemical alumina products included) represented approximately 21.9% of total domestic production in China.

 

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We are a leading enterprise in non-ferrous metal industry in China. As of December 31, 2019, 18 alumina producers in China (including Chalco) each had annual production capacity of 500,000 tonnes or above, which collectively represented approximately 92.65% of the total alumina production capacity in China. As of the same date, among these 18 alumina producers, 14 alumina producers (including Chalco) each had annual production capacity of one million tonnes or above, which collectively represented approximately 89.45% of the total alumina production capacity in China. In order to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the Chinese alumina industry as well as to protect the environment, MIIT published the Standard Conditions for Aluminum Industry in July 2013 and issued a new version in March 2020, which provides stringent standards for the existing alumina enterprises. Although we face competition from other domestic and international refineries, we have several advantages over such competitors, including:

 

we have access to a substantial and stable supply of bauxite;

 

we are experienced in alumina production and our production technologies are specifically adapted to the particular chemical composition of bauxite found in China;

 

we have strong capabilities in technology research and hold certain proprietary technologies and patents; and

 

we have a substantial workforce that has extensive experience in production and management.

 

Primary Aluminum

 

We derived all of our primary aluminum revenues from domestic sales in 2019. Our competitors include other domestic and international primary aluminum producers that conduct sales in China. In 2019, our primary aluminum production represented approximately 10.5% of total domestic production in China.

 

We are a leading enterprise in non-ferrous metal industry in China. As of December 31, 2019, 18 primary aluminum producers in China (including Chalco) each had annual production capacity of 500,000 tonnes or above, which collectively represented approximately 84.95% of the total primary aluminum production capacity in China. As of the same date, among these 18 primary aluminum producers, 12 primary aluminum producers (including Chalco) each had annual production capacity of one million tonnes or above, which collectively represented approximately 73.25% of the total primary aluminum production capacity in China. The PRC government encourages consolidation in the Chinese primary aluminum industry to create larger, more efficient producers that are better positioned to implement measures to reduce emissions. Moreover, according to the current Standard Conditions for Aluminum Industry and other administrative regulations, aluminum smelting enterprises must ensure the availability of resources, energy and water resources, and are encouraged to merge with hydropower, coal power and other power enterprises through reorganization. In addition, pursuant to relevant PRC regulations, the construction of new primary aluminum projects and the reconstruction or expansion of existing primary aluminum projects would be approved only if such projects would introduce new primary aluminum production capacity in an amount equal to or smaller than the amount of existing production capacity to be replaced.

 

Although we face competition from other domestic and international smelters, we have several advantages over such competitors, including:

 

Scale of production. With eleven primary aluminum smelters, we can achieve significant economies of scale. In addition, our scale of production enables us to achieve high production volumes to fill large customer orders and maintain a large customer base. Through our national distribution network, we are able to make timely deliveries to customers from our local warehouses.

 

Technology. We believe we have a more sophisticated technological innovation system and stronger innovation capability than most of our domestic competitors. The FHEST technology developed and employed by us is currently the most advanced energy saving technology in primary aluminum smelting in China. In addition, in terms of technological support and research and development capabilities, we are equipped with the most advanced research and development institute within the aluminum industry in China and enjoy advantages over other domestic smelters in technology advancement.

 

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Vertical integration. As a leading integrated alumina and primary aluminum producer in China, we are able to supply alumina internally to our primary aluminum plants. As a result, we save on transportation, warehousing and related costs. In addition, because we operate our own alumina refineries, we are able to assure a stable supply of alumina for our primary aluminum smelting operations.

 

Quality. We have maintained and will continue to improve on the high quality standards for our primary aluminum which has satisfied national and industrial standards and customers’ need.

 

The primary aluminum produced by most of our smelters satisfies the quality standards of the LME.

 

Competition from International Competitors

 

The tariff rate for alumina and primary aluminum imports was eliminated on January 1, 2008 and August 1, 2007, respectively. In 2019, China had net import of approximately 1.37 million tonnes of alumina (with chemical alumina products included), compared to a net export of 0.95 million tonnes in 2018, primarily due to the recovery of production of a major player in the overseas alumina market. China had a net export of approximately 811 tonnes of primary aluminum in 2019, compared to a net import of approximately 69,600 tonnes of primary aluminum in 2018.

 

We expect to continue to face competition from international suppliers of alumina and primary aluminum which are large international companies. Some competitors may also consider establishing joint venture companies with local producers in China to gain access to the resources in China and to lower transportation costs. However, we expect we will continue to benefit from certain PRC governmental policies that promote large domestic aluminum enterprises.

 

Research and Development

 

Our research and development efforts over the years have facilitated the expansion of our production capacity and reduced our unit costs. We have successfully commercialized our previous research and development results in various technologies. In 2019, we completed 82 technological projects, including 69 research and development projects undertaken independently by our branches or subsidiaries, ten special key science and technology projects and three science and technology application projects. In addition, we filed a total of 248 patent applications in 2019.

 

As of December 31, 2019, we owned 1,300 patents, which were primarily related to technologies and processes, equipment and new products. Once granted, a patent in China for an invention is valid for 20 years and for a utility model or a design 10 years from the date of the patent application. As of December 31, 2019, we owned 25 trademarks, each of which had a term of 10 years.

 

We do not regard any single patent, license, or trademark to be material to our sales and operations as a whole. We are not involved in any material intellectual property disputes.

 

Environmental Protection

 

Our operations are subject to PRC national and local environmental laws and regulations, including laws and regulations governing waste discharge, waste generation, treatment and disposal of hazardous materials, land reclamation, pollutant emissions and environmental issues associated with mining.

 

The pollutants discharged from our alumina refining process include red mud, waste water and gas emissions and particulates. Our primary aluminum production process generates fluorides, pitch fume and particulates. It is illegal to release these pollutants untreated. The discharge of these pollutants after treatment must comply with national and local discharge limits.

 

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Each of our alumina refineries, primary aluminum smelters and other production plants has its own waste treatment facilities onsite or has developed other methods to dispose of industrial waste in compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations. We were granted ISO14001 accreditations issued by China Quality Certification Center and the International Certification Network in 2004. In 2019, we passed the annual review and these accreditations were renewed.

 

We have increased our energy-efficiency by implementing new production techniques and technologies, upgrading our production facilities, optimizing our production process and enhancing our logistics and operations management. We have incorporated clean technology and processes into our operations with a view to promoting the concept of “zero discharge” plants. In 2019, the discharge of all industrial waste water in the course of our alumina and primary aluminum production met the standards under relevant regulations.

 

In addition, we have focused on sustainable development of mine sites and achieved significant progress in mine reclamation. We reclaimed 12,000 mu of land throughout the year of 2019 and had reclaimed an aggregate amount of 78,500 mu of land as of December 31, 2019, representing a cumulative reclamation rate of over 86%.

 

Our total expenditures for maintaining compliance with environmental laws and regulations were RMB691.9 million, RMB777.6 million and RMB914.4 million for 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively. In 2019, we did not have any major environmental pollution incidents.

 

Insurance

 

We maintain insurance coverage for our fixed assets such as plant, machinery, equipment, office facilities and transportation vehicles against accidents or natural disasters such as typhoons, hurricanes, floods, landslides and lightning strikes. However, there are certain types of losses, such as losses from war, acts of terrorism and nuclear radiation, for which we cannot obtain insurance at a reasonable cost or at all.

 

We are covered under the work-related injury insurance required by the relevant local government labor departments, and we have procured additional business accidental insurance for our employees. More extensive insurance is either unavailable in China or would impose a cost on our operations that would reduce our competitiveness.

 

Our insurance premiums were RMB44.1 million, RMB49.6 million and RMB42.9 million in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.

 

Seasonality

 

Our business in general is not subject to seasonality. Separately, our bauxite output in Boffa bauxite mine may be subject to seasonal fluctuations due to the rainy season in Guinea.

 

Cyber Security

 

With respect to our internal internet policies on cyber-security, we have established an information safety management system and issued internal regulations on cyber-security, internal hardware and data safety systems and we are gradually implementing measures relating to the office environment information safety management, information system access control, protection from any malicious software, and internal review and audit of information safety risks, in order to prevent loss of information due to cyber-security incidents, network outages or hardware incidents. In 2019, we did not experience any material cyber-security incidents or related losses.

 

Regulatory Overview

 

Producers of alumina and primary aluminum are subject to national industrial policies and relevant laws and regulations in areas of environmental protection, import and export, land use, foreign investment regulation and taxation. We are also subject to regulations relating to activities such as mining.

 

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We are principally subject to governmental supervision and regulation by four agencies of the PRC government:

 

the NDRC, which sets and implements the major policies concerning China’s economic and social development, approves investments exceeding certain amounts, coordinates and improves the reform of the economic system;

 

the Ministry of Natural Resources of China, which has the authority to grant land use rights and mining right permits;

 

the MIIT, which formulates industrial policies and investment guidelines for all industries including the aluminum industry; and

 

the CSRC, the securities regulatory commission of China.

 

The following is a brief summary of the principal laws, regulations, policies and administrative directives to which we are subject.

 

Requirements for Capital Investments

 

Any capital markets financing activities by an enterprise or company incorporated in the PRC such as those to finance capital projects, are subject to approval by the CSRC and/or other relevant authorities in China, regardless of whether the funds are raised in China or on the international capital markets. An issuer incorporated in the PRC must obtain prior approval from the CSRC for issuance of equity securities or equity-linked securities. Offering of corporate bonds in the PRC is also subject to supervision of the CSRC. Offering of bonds by a PRC-incorporated company outside the PRC shall be filed with NDRC. For all overseas financing activities by an enterprise or company incorporated in the PRC, the issuer must register with and obtain prior approval from the administrative authorities of foreign exchange. Foreign investment in the exploring and mining of alumina and primary aluminum is permitted by the PRC government.

 

Standard Conditions for Aluminum Industry 

 

The Standard Conditions for Aluminum Industry was issued by MIIT in July 18, 2013 and a new version was issued on March 3, 2020 to replace the 2013 version. The new Standard Conditions for Aluminum Industry only applies to existing bauxite mining, alumina and primary aluminum enterprises and indicates that such standards do not constitute administrative approval or mandatory requirement. It provides that bauxite mining, alumina and primary aluminum production must comply with the state and local industry policies and overall plans on the mining resources and development of aluminum industry, as well as laws, regulations and policies related to the environmental protection, energy conservation, mining and production safety. According to the new Standard Conditions for Aluminum Industry, aluminum smelting enterprises must ensure the availability of resources, energy and water resources, and are encouraged to merge with hydropower, coal power and other power enterprises through reorganization. It further encourages that alumina enterprises use intelligent systems and equipment in its operation to achieve energy-conserving and environment-protective purpose. The new Standard Conditions for Aluminum Industry further set out guidelines and standards for enterprises in aluminum industry regarding product quality, facilities, energy consumption, resources consumption, environmental protection, production safety and occupational deceases prevention.

Under the Standard Conditions for Aluminum Industry, the MIIT shall, in accordance with the applicable regulatory standards, review the applicants and disclose the names of applicants that meet the regulatory conditions. The MIIT promulgated on April 4, 2014, January 4, 2015 and February 14, 2016, respectively, the first, the second and the third lists of enterprises that meet the Standard Conditions for Aluminum Industry. Most of our production branches and subsidiaries have met the Standard Conditions for Aluminum Industry of 2013 version and are included on these lists. According to the current Standard Conditions for Aluminum Industry, enterprises that would like to be named in the list under this new Standard Conditions for Aluminum Industry need to resubmit application for the MIIT’s review.

 

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Pricing

 

The PRC government does not impose any limitations with respect to the pricing of alumina, primary aluminum and related products. Thus, alumina and primary aluminum producers are free to set prices for their products. All the raw materials, supplemental materials and other supplies that we purchase are based on market prices. Freight transportation on the national railway system is subject to government mandated pricing.

 

Electricity Supply and Price

 

The State Electricity Regulatory Commission of China is responsible for the supervision and administration of the power industry in China. The NDRC and local governments regulate electricity pricing.

 

The Electric Power Law of China and related rules and regulations govern construction, generation, supply and consumption of electric power. Currently, China’s state-owned power companies, through their respective local subsidiaries, operate all the regional power grids in China from which we obtain a part of our electricity requirements. In October 2007, PRC government issued “Notice on Further Solutions of the Difference in Electricity Rates,” according to which the preferential electricity prices originally enjoyed by Chinese primary aluminum enterprises have been gradually abolished. In December 2007, PRC government issued “Notice of Eliminating Preferential Electricity Rate for High Energy Consuming Enterprises and Related Matters,” which further eliminated the preferential electricity price arrangement enjoyed by Chinese primary aluminum enterprises. In December 2013, the NDRC and MIIT issued the “Circular on the Policies for Tiered Pricing of Electricity Used by Electrolytic Aluminum Enterprises” (the “Electricity Tiered Pricing Circular”), which became effective on January 1, 2014, to impose tiers of electricity prices on primary aluminum smelters. Specifically, if the alternating current consumed by any smelter is more than 13,700 kWh per tonne of molten aluminum but less than 13,800 kWh per tonne of molten aluminum, such smelter must pay additional RMB0.02 per kWh for the electricity used. If the alternating current consumed by any smelter is more than 13,800 kWh per tonne of molten aluminum, such smelter must pay additional RMB0.08 for per kWh for the electricity used.

 

In March 2015, new policies and reforms relating to electricity generation, retail, usage, and other related sectors were introduced. Under “Several Opinions of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Further Deepening the Reform of the Electric Power System,” a series of reforms relating to electricity pricing, distribution and retail segments, electricity trading, distributed generation, and other aspects has been put forward. In November 2015, NDRC and the National Energy Administration of the PRC jointly issued further supplemental measures, including “Implementation Opinions on Promoting Transmission-Distribution Price Reform,” “Implementation Opinions on Promoting Power Market Construction,” “Implementation Opinions on Establishing Power Trading Institutions and Their Normative Operation,” “Implementation Opinions on Orderly Releasing Plans of Power Generation and Power Utilization,” “Implementation Opinions on Promoting Power-Sales Side Reform,” and “Guidance Opinions on Reinforcing and Regulating Supervision and Management of Coal-Fired Self-Generation Power Plants,” which set out further requirements and implementation steps in relation to the reform of electric power system. Towards the end of 2016, NDRC promulgated “Measures of Electricity Pricing for Transmission-Distribution Grid at the Provincial Level,” which established a regulatory framework of electricity transmission and distribution pricing.

 

Regulations Concerning Imports and Exports of Alumina and Primary Aluminum

 

Import taxes on alumina and primary aluminum have been eliminated. The export tariff on certain primary aluminum products has been 15% since August 1, 2007.

 

Environmental Protection Laws and Regulations

 

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China is responsible for supervision and administration of environmental protection in China. It formulates national environmental quality and discharge standards and monitors China’s environmental system. Bureau of Ecology and Environment at the municipal level or above are responsible for environmental protection within their respective jurisdictions.

 

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Environmental regulations require each enterprise to file an environmental impact report with the relevant Bureau of Ecology and Environment for approval before undertaking the construction of a new production facility or any major expansion or renovation of an existing production facility. New facilities built pursuant to this approval are not permitted to operate until the relevant environmental bureau has performed an inspection and concluded that the facilities are in compliance with environmental standards.

 

The Environmental Protection Law requires any facility that produces pollutants or other hazards to incorporate environmental protection measures in its operations and establish an environmental protection responsibility system. Such system includes adoption of effective measures to control and properly dispose of waste gases, waste water, waste residue, dust or other waste materials. Any entity that discharges pollution must register with the relevant environmental protection authority. In 2016, Circular of the General Office of the State Council on the Implementing Plan for the Permit System for Controlling the Discharge of Pollutants was issued, pursuant to which enterprises that discharge pollutants need to obtain permits from relevant environment authority.

 

Penalties for breaches of the Environmental Protection Law include warning, payment of damages and imposition of fines. Any entity undertaking a construction project that fails to install pollution prevention and control facilities in compliance with environmental standards for a construction project may be ordered to suspend production or operations or to cease operations and may be fined. Criminal liability may be imposed for a material violation of environmental laws and regulations that causes any significant loss of property or personal injuries or death.

 

On December 25, 2016, the PRC government promulgated the Environmental Protection Tax Law, which became effective from January 1, 2018 and was amended on October 26, 2018. The Environmental Protection Tax Law imposes environmental protection tax to enterprises, entities, producers or operators which discharge taxable pollutants into air, water or lands. Taxable pollutants include air pollutants, water pollutants, solid wastes and noises. The environmental protection tax is collected by tax authority and levied in accordance with a table attached to the Environmental Protection Tax Law. However, emission of taxable pollutants into the centralized sewage and domestic waste treatment facilities, or storage or disposal of solid wastes in facilities or places that meet the national or local environmental protection standard, by enterprises, entities, producers or operators, is not deemed as direct emission of pollutants into the environment and is exempted from the environmental protection tax for such pollutants.

 

Mineral Resources Laws and Regulations

 

All mineral resources in China are owned by the state under the current Mineral Resources Law. Exploration, exploitation and mining operations must comply with the relevant provisions of the Mineral Resources Law and are under the supervision of the Ministry of Natural Resources. Exploration and exploitation of mineral resources are also subject to examination and approval by the Ministry of Natural Resources or relevant local authorities. Upon approval, the relevant administrative authorities, which are responsible for supervision and inspection of mining exploitation in their jurisdiction, will issue an exploration permit or mining permit. The holders of mining rights are required to file with the relevant administrative authorities annually.

 

The PRC government permits mine operators of collectively owned mines to exploit mineral resources in designated areas and individuals to mine scattered mineral resources. Such mine operators and individuals are subject to government regulation. Mining activities by individuals are restricted. Individuals are not permitted to exploit mineral reserves allocated for exploitation by a mining enterprise or company, or specified minerals prescribed by the state for protective mining. Indiscriminate mining that damages mineral resources is prohibited.

 

If mining activities result in damage to arable land, grassland or afforested area, the mining operator must take measures to return the land to an arable state within the prescribed time frame. Any entity or individual which fails to fulfil its remediation obligations may be fined and denied application for land use rights for new land by the relevant land and natural resources authorities.

 

It is unlawful for an entity or individual to conduct mining operations in areas designated for other legal mining operators. A mining operator whose exploitation causes harm to others in terms of production or in terms of living standards is liable for compensation and is required to take necessary remedial measures. When a mine is closed, a mine closure report and information concerning the mining facilities, hidden dangers, remediation and environmental protection must be submitted for examination and approval in accordance with the relevant PRC law and regulations.

 

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Mineral products that have been illegally extracted and the related income derived from such activities may be confiscated and may result in fines, revocation of the mining permit and, in serious circumstances, criminal liability.

 

Energy Conservation Law

 

The amended Energy Conservation Law came into effect on October 26, 2018. It sets out the general principles for reducing energy waste and improving efficiency of energy consumption. It urges the adjustment of industry structure and replacement of high energy consumption projects with new energy or renewable energy resources. It provides that an energy conservation assessment and review system shall apply to newly investment projects and where a project does not meet the mandatory energy conservation standards, the project cannot be constructed. If a project that does not meet the mandatory energy conservation standards has been completed, it cannot be put into use.

 

In March 2014, the MIIT issued a regulation, the “Opinion on Implementing Supervision of Industrial Energy Conservation,” which lists the primary aluminum smelting as one of the high energy consumption operations that will be strictly monitored. In December 2014, the MIIT issued the Guidance for National Industrial Efficiency, which sets forth industrial efficiency standards for producers of major products in industries that involve high energy consumption, which included primary aluminum and alumina products.

 

Regulations Concerning Electrolytic Aluminum Industry

 

In June 2016, the General Office of the State Council promulgated “Guiding Opinions on Creating a Favorable Market Environment and Promoting the Non-Ferrous Metals Industry to Adjust Structure, Advance Transformation and Increase Efficiency,” under which the construction of new electrolytic aluminum projects and the reconstruction or expansion of existing electrolytic aluminum projects would be approved only if such construction, reconstruction or expansion would introduce new electrolytic aluminum production capacity in an amount equal to or smaller than the amount of existing electrolytic aluminum production capacity to be replaced by such construction, reconstruction or expansion.

 

In April 2017, NDRC, MIIT, the Ministry of Land and Resources (now known as Ministry of Natural Resources) and the Ministry of Environmental Protection (now known as Ministry of Ecology and Environment) jointly issued the “Notice Regarding the Plan on Special Action for Clean-up and Rectification of Projects in Violation of Laws and Regulations in the Electrolytic Aluminum Industry,” which sets forth a comprehensive plan to inspect electrolytic aluminum projects and rectify violations of applicable laws or regulations revealed in the inspection.

 

On January 1, 2018, MITT issued the “Notice Regarding Electrolytic Aluminum Enterprises to Realize Capacity Replacement by Acquisition, Merger and Restructure,” which requires electrolytic aluminum enterprises to achieve capacity replacement by acquisition, merger or capacity transferring and exchange of capacity quotas with its group companies.

 

Tax Laws and Regulation

 

In March 2007, the PRC government promulgated the Enterprise Income Tax Law which became effective from January 1, 2008. The Enterprise Income Tax Law imposes a single income tax rate of 25% on both domestic and foreign invested enterprises. Pursuant to the Enterprise Income Tax Law, important high- and new-tech enterprises that are necessary to be supported by the state are subject to a reduced enterprise income tax rate of 15%. Certain branches and subsidiaries of us were granted tax concessions including preferential tax rates of 15%. On December 6, 2007, PRC government promulgated the Enterprise Income Tax Law Implementation Rules which also became effective on January 1, 2008.

 

In March 2016, the MOF and the SAT jointly promulgated “Circular on Comprehensively Promoting the Pilot Program of the Collection of Value-added Tax in Lieu of Business Tax,” pursuant to which we are allowed to deduct input tax from output tax according to the amount set forth in the special value-added tax invoices obtained from our purchases of services, intangible assets or real estate. On April 4, 2018, the MOF and the SAT issued the Circular on Adjusting Value-added Tax Rates, which became effective on May 1, 2018. Pursuant to this circular, for sale or import of goods, the previous applicable value-added tax rate 17% and 11% were adjusted to 16% and 10% respectively.


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On March 20, 2019, the MOF, the SAT and the General Administration of Customs jointly issued the Announcement on Policies for Deepening Reform of Value-added Tax, which became effective on April 1, 2019. Pursuant to this announcement, for sales or import of goods by a general taxpayer that were previously subject to value added tax at the rate of 16%, the applicable tax rate has been adjusted to 13%, and for those previously subject to value added tax at the rate of 10%, the applicable tax rate has been adjusted to 9%.

 

C.           Organizational Structure

 

Set out below is a chart illustrating our corporate structure as of March 31, 2020:

 

 

Below sets forth further information of our principal subsidiaries as of December 31, 2019:

 

Company 

 

Percentage of ownership interest
attributable to the Company

Principal activities

Baotou Aluminum Co., Ltd.   100.00%   Manufacture and distribution of primary aluminum, aluminum alloy and related fabricated products and carbon products
Chalco Hong Kong Ltd.(1)   100.00%   Overseas investments and alumina import and export activities
China Aluminum International Trading Co., Ltd.   100.00%   Trading, import and export activities
Chalco Mining Co., Ltd.   100.00%   Manufacture, acquisition and distribution of bauxite mines, limestone ore, manufacturing and distribution of alumina
Chinalco Shanxi Jiaokou Xinghua Technology Ltd.(2)   66.00%   Manufacture and distribution of alumina
Chalco Shanghai Company Limited   100.00%   Trading and engineering project management
Chalco Shanxi New Material Co., Ltd.   85.98%   Manufacture and distribution of alumina, primary aluminum and anode carbon products and electricity generation and supply
Zunyi Aluminum Co., Ltd.   67.445%   Manufacture and distribution of primary aluminum and alumina

Chalco Energy Co., Ltd. 

 

100.00% 

 

Thermoelectric supply and investment management 

 

60 

 

 

Company 

 

Percentage of ownership interest
attributable to the Company

 

Principal activities

China Aluminum Ningxia Energy Group Co., Ltd.   70.82%   Thermal power, wind power and solar power generation, coal mining, and power related equipment manufacturing
Guizhou Huajin Aluminum Co., Ltd.   60.00%   Manufacture and distribution of alumina
Chalco Zhengzhou Research Institute of Non-ferrous Metal Co., Ltd.   100.00%   Research and development services
Chalco Shandong Co., Ltd.   100.00%   Manufacture and distribution of alumina
Chalco Zhongzhou Aluminum Co., Ltd.   100.00%   Manufacture and distribution of alumina
Chalco Logistics Group Co., Ltd.   100.00%   Logistic transportation
Shanxi Huaxing Aluminum Co., Ltd.(3)   100.00%   Manufacture and distribution of alumina
Shanxi China Huarun Co., Ltd.   43.39%   Manufacture and distribution of primary aluminum
Guizhou Huaren New Material Co., Ltd.   40.00%   Manufacture and distribution of primary aluminum
China Aluminum International Trading Group Co., Ltd.   100.00%   Trading, importing and exporting of non-ferrous metal products
Chalco Materials Co., Ltd.   100.00%   Procurement of materials including raw materials and fuels

 

 

(1)Chalco Hong Kong Ltd. is incorporated in Hong Kong. All other principal subsidiaries are incorporated in the PRC.

(2)We directly hold 33% shares and indirectly hold 33% shares, through Chalco Shandong Co., Ltd.

(3)We directly hold 60% shares and indirectly hold 40% shares, through Chalco Hong Kong Ltd.

 

D.           Property, Plants and Equipment

 

Mines

 

Bauxite Mines

 

The following map sets forth details of the area surrounding our largest bauxite mine in China, the Pingguo mine:

 

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The Guangxi Pingguo plant, located in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, commenced operations in 1994. The surrounding infrastructure includes roadways and waterways.

 

Modernization and Physical Condition, Equipment, Infrastructure and Other Facilities

 

We have modern facilities at our mines in China, which were designed by professional PRC mine design institutes and adhere to international standards. Our mines are either open pit or underground. Our mines generally have mining offices and transportation facilities that have access to local roads and highways. In addition, we utilize advanced heavy equipment such as bulldozers and scrapers.

 

Source of Power and Water

 

All of our mining facilities in China are connected to the local or regional electric power grids. In addition, our mining facilities are connected to reliable water sources, all of which were sufficient for the requirements of each individual mine.

 

Our mines in Indonesia have access to local roads. Prior to suspension of productions, the two mines that used to be put into operation were powered by diesel fuel and are equipped with washing machines.

 

Coal Mines

 

We acquired 70% of the equity interest in Gansu Huayang in March 2011, which holds exploration rights for a portion of Luochuan mine in Gansu Province. We renewed the exploration permit in March 2019, which will expire in October 2020. We are in the process of applying for the exploration permit for the rest of Luochuan mine. Luochuan mine is an underground mine. We have completed the exploration but have not commenced development of Luochuan mine. As of the date of this annual report, neither proven nor probable reserves have been established in accordance with Industry Guide 7.

 

We acquired the mining rights for Laodonghe mine, in January 2013 through Chalco Guizhou Mining Co., Ltd. We hold 80.0% of the equity interest of Laodonghe mine in Guizhou Province. The mining permit expired in December 2018. We had completed the exploration of Laodonghe mine and have been actively coordinating follow-up matters with relevant parties. Laodonghe mine is an underground mine. As of the date of this annual report, neither proven nor probable reserves have been established in accordance with Industry Guide 7.

 

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We completed the acquisition of 70.82% of the equity interest in Ningxia Energy in January 2013, which holds mining rights or exploration rights for certain coal deposits in Ningxia Autonomous Region. The coal mines owned and operated by Ningxia Energy include Wangwa mine, Wangwa No.2 mine, Yindonggou mine and Yinxingyijing mine, all of which are underground thermal coal mines. The operations at these coal mines are powered by electricity from local power grids and are accessible by public roads. As of the date of this annual report, neither proven nor probable reserves have been established in accordance with Industry Guide 7.

 

Wangwa mine, Wangwa No. 2 mine and Yindonggou mine are currently in extraction stage. We primarily use comprehensive mechanized longwall mining method to extract coal from Wangwa mine, Wangwa No. 2 mine and Yindonggou mine and we use advanced coal mining equipment including hydraulic roof supports and shearers. In addition, Ningxia Energy holds 50% of interest in Yinxingyijing mine while the other joint owner in Yinxingyijing mine does not participate in its operation. Yinxingyijing mine has been put into operation since January 2019. The exploration permit of Yinxingyijing mine expired in August 2018 and has been cancelled since then. We obtained the mining permit in February 2018, which will expire in February 2048.

 

The following table sets forth detailed information on Wangwa mine, Wangwa No. 2 mine and Yindonggou mine:

 

 

Wangwa mine

Wangwa No. 2 mine

Yindonggou mine

Nature of Ownership Owned and operated by Ningxia Energy, a 70.82% subsidiary of Chalco Owned and operated by Ningxia Energy, a 70.82% subsidiary of Chalco Owned and operated by Ningxia Energy, a 70.82% subsidiary of Chalco
Commencement of construction 1984(1) 2007 2010
Commencement of extraction 1990(1) 2010 2016
Permit renewal November 2046 June 2032 July 2036
Mining recovery rate (%)(2) 78 81 76
Depth of mine (meters underground) 400 400 478
Average thickness of main coal seam (meters) 6-11 8-10 2-8
Calorific value (Kcal/kg) 4,900-5,100 4,800-5,000 4,600-4,900
Sulphur content (%) 1.1 1.2 1.12
Average ash content (%) 14.2 15.3 12.2

 

 

(1)The capacity expansion and technology upgrade of Wangwa mine is currently at the final acceptance stage of the construction process.

 

(2)The mining recovery rate is the rate of the amount of coal recovered from a determined amount of reserves, which is calculated by dividing the actual volume of coal recovered in a year by the volume of reserves mined and consumed in the same year.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2019, Ningxia Energy incurred capital expenditures of approximately RMB1.6 billion on infrastructure construction.

 

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Land 

 

Chinalco leases to us 411 pieces or parcels of land, located in eight provinces, covering an aggregate area of approximately 52.89 million square meters for any purpose related to our operations and businesses. Currently, all leases for our properties are valid and have not expired. The leased land mainly consists of: 

399 pieces of allocated land with an area of approximately 51.59 million square meters. Chinalco has obtained authorization from the relevant administrative authorities to manage and lease the land use rights for such land; and

 

12 pieces of land with an area of approximately 1.30 million square meters. Chinalco has paid the land premiums and obtained land use rights certificates.

 

The land is leased for the following terms:

 

allocated land: 50 years commencing from July 1, 2001 (except for land use rights of mines operated by us, whose leased terms shall end on the expiration date of the mining rights or at the end of the actual mine life, whichever is earlier);

 

granted land: until expiration of the relevant land use right permits; and

 

for both allocated or granted land: normal commercial terms that stipulate, among other conditions, the terms of use, monthly or annual rental amounts payable in Renminbi and a six-month notification provision for termination of any lease agreement.

 

Buildings

 

Our principal executive offices, which we lease from Chinalco, are located at No. 62 North Xizhimen Street, Haidian District, Beijing, People’s Republic of China, 100082.

 

Pursuant to the reorganization in connection with our initial public offering in 2001, Chinalco transferred to us, among other operating assets, ownership of the buildings and properties for the operation of our core businesses. Chinalco retained its remaining buildings and properties for its operations. The buildings transferred to us comprise 4,631 buildings with an aggregate gross area of approximately 4.2 million square meters. These buildings may be sold or transferred only with the consent of Chinalco and in accordance with applicable land transfer procedures. Chinalco has undertaken to provide its consent and the necessary assistance to affect land grant procedures to ensure that our buildings can be legally transferred or sold.

 

We and Chinalco also lease to each other a number of other buildings and properties for ancillary uses, which comprise mainly buildings for offices, dormitory, canteen and storage purposes. As of the date of this annual report, we leased 133 buildings to Chinalco, with an aggregate gross area of approximately 134,186 square meters, while Chinalco leased 119 buildings to us, with an aggregate gross area of approximately 179,849 square meters. In June 2018, we and China Aluminum Investment and Development Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinalco, renewed a tenancy agreement pursuant to which we would lease from Chinalco the office premises at certain floors of No. 62 North Xizhimen Street, Haidian District, Beijing, PRC, with an aggregate gross floor area of 22,303 square meters. This agreement will expire on December 31, 2021.

 

Our Expansion

 

Our expansion projects in 2019 primarily include:

 

The Boffa Project: Based on our preliminary research and analysis and after taking into account various factors, the total investment of this project is estimated to be US$706 million, which is mainly allocated in the construction of mines, ports and lightering system. Accordingly to the preliminary design plan, the estimated investment for the construction of mines is RMB3,088 million. By the end of 2019, an aggregate of RMB1,872 million of capital expenditure for the construction of mines had been incurred. The project commenced construction in September 2018. The quarry of mine was put into operation at the end of 2019 and the first shipment of bauxite was sent to China in February 2020. See “- A. History and Development of the Company – Boffa Project” for more details.

 

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The 2,000,000-tonne alumina project of Guangxi Huasheng New Material Co., Ltd.: We expect to invest a total amount of approximately RMB5,805 million in this project. By the end of 2019, an aggregate of RMB3,912 million of capital expenditure had been incurred. The project is expected to be completed and put into operation in June 2020.

 

The 432,000-tonne light alloy project of Shanxi Zhongrun: We expect to invest a total amount of approximately RMB4,512 million in this project. By March 28, 2019, each shareholder of Shanxi Zhongrun has made its paid-in capital on a pro rata basis, where the Company contributed RMB656.7 million. By the end of 2019, an aggregate of RMB3,637 million of capital expenditure had been incurred. As of the end of 2019, the project had been partially put into operation.

 

Ningxia Energy’s 200-MW wind power project in Alxa Left Banner, Inner Mongolia: We expect to invest a total amount of approximately RMB1,446 million in this project. By the end of 2019, an aggregate of RMB1,253 million of capital expenditure had been incurred. The project had been connected to the grid for power generation at the end of 2019.

 

Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments

 

None.

 

Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects

 

The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and selected historical financial data, in each case together with the accompanying notes included elsewhere in this annual report. This section contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of our future performance or results and our actual results could materially differ from those disclosed in the forward-looking statements. In evaluating our business, you should carefully consider the information provided in “Item 3. Key Information - D. Risk Factors.”

 

As the business combination under common control incurred in the years ended December 31, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, the comparative financial data for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 are revised to reflect the business combination under common control. Unless otherwise indicated in this section, our financial data for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2018 are presented based on those revised amounts. Please see Note 38 to our audited consolidated financial statements.

 

A.           Operating Results

 

Overview

 

We are a leading enterprise in the non-ferrous metal industry in China. We are engaged principally in alumina refining, primary aluminum smelting, and trading of non-ferrous metal products, coal products and other products. In addition, we are engaged in coal mining and power generation. The remainder of our revenues was derived from research and development activities and other products and services. We organize and manage our operations according to the following key segments:

 

Our alumina segment, which consists of the mining and purchasing of bauxite and other raw materials, and production and sale of alumina as well as chemical alumina. Alumina accounted for approximately 88.1% of the total production volume for this segment in 2019. Chemical alumina products are used in the production of chemical, pharmaceutical, ceramic and construction materials. In the process of refining bauxite into alumina, we used to produce gallium as a by-product, which is a rare, high-value metal with applications in the electronics and telecommunication industries. In August 2019, we made a capital contribution with all of our gallium assets to China Rare Metals and Rare Earths Company Ltd. and we are not engaged in gallium production currently. See “Item 4. Information on the Company - A. History and Development of the Company - Capital Contribution to China Rare Metals and Rare Earths Company Ltd. with Gallium Assets” for details.

 

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Our primary aluminum segment, which consists of the procurement of alumina, other raw materials, supplemental materials and electrical power, the production and sale of primary aluminum and aluminum-related products, such as carbon products, aluminum alloy products and other aluminum products. Our principal primary aluminum products are ingots, molten aluminum and aluminum alloys, which accounted for approximately 29%, 38% and 33%, respectively, of our total production volume of primary aluminum in 2019. Our standard 20 kilogram remelt ingots are used for general aluminum fabrication in the construction, electricity, electronics, transportation, packaging, machinery and durable goods industries. We internally produce substantially all the carbon products used at our smelters and sell our remaining carbon products to external customers.

 

Our trading segment, which mainly consists of the trading of alumina, primary aluminum, aluminum fabrication products, other non-ferrous metal products, and crude fuels such as coal products, as well as supplemental materials and logistics and transport services to our internal manufacturing plants and external customers. We established our trading business under Chalco Trading as a separate segment in July 2010 as a result of our operational structural adjustment. Since 2014, we have established Chalco Materials, Chalco Logistics and Chalco Trading Group to continuously promote and deepen development of our trading business, jointly constituting our trading segment. Established in 2018, Chalco Trading Group has undertaken the businesses that used to be operated by Chalco Trading.

 

Our energy segment, which consists of the research and development, production and operation of energy products, including coal mining and conventional coal-fire power generation as well as renewable energy generation such as wind power and solar power. We are also engaged in new energy equipment production. We established our energy segment in January 2013 as a result of our acquisition of Ningxia Energy in line with our development strategy to partially offset our future energy costs. In 2019, we supplied the majority of the electricity we generated for our own production use, supplied a portion of the coal output to our own electric power plant and sold the remaining portion to external customers. Ningxia Energy supplied the electricity it generated mainly to the state grid in China.

 

Our corporate and other operating segment, which consists of corporate and other aluminum-related research, development, and our other activities.

 

We used to be engaged in aluminum fabrication operations, where we processed primary aluminum for the production and sales of various aluminum fabrication products. As approved at our 2012 annual general meeting held on June 27, 2013, we disposed of substantially all of our aluminum fabrication operations to Chinalco. As a result, we ceased to operate aluminum fabrication business as a separate segment in June 2013.

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

We prepare our consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board, which requires the use of certain critical accounting estimates. It also requires management to exercise its judgment in the process of applying the accounting policies. The areas in our financial reporting involving a higher degree of judgment or complexity, or areas where assumptions and estimates are significant to the consolidated financial statements, are disclosed in Note 3 to our consolidated financial statements. We have established procedures and processes to facilitate the making of such judgments in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements. Management has used the best information available but actual performance may differ from our management’s estimates and future changes in key variables could change future reported amounts in our consolidated financial statements.

 

Property, Plant and Equipment

 

Property, plant and equipment, other than construction in progress (“CIP”), are stated at cost less accumulated depreciation and any impairment losses. When an item of property, plant and equipment is classified as held for sale or when it is part of a disposal group classified as held for sale, it is not depreciated and is accounted for in accordance with IFRS 5. The cost of an item of property, plant and equipment comprises its purchase price and any directly attributable costs of bringing the asset to its working condition and location for its intended use.

 

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Expenditure incurred after items of property, plant and equipment have been put into operation, such as repairs and maintenance, is normally charged to profit or loss in the period in which it is incurred. In situations where the recognition criteria are satisfied, the expenditure for a major inspection is capitalized in the carrying amount of the asset as a replacement. Where significant parts of property, plant and equipment are required to be replaced at intervals, we recognize such parts as individual assets with specific useful lives and depreciate them accordingly.

 

We calculate depreciation on the straight-line basis to write off the cost of each item of property, plant and equipment to its residual value over its estimated useful life. The principal annual rates used for this purpose are as follows:

 

Buildings 8-45 years
Machinery 3-30 years
Transportation facilities 6-10 years
Office and other equipment 3-10 years

 

Where parts of an item of property, plant and equipment have different useful lives, the cost of that item is allocated on a reasonable basis among the parts and each part is depreciated separately. We reviewed and adjusted the assets’ depreciation method, residual values and useful lives, if appropriate, at the end of each reporting period.

 

An item of property, plant and equipment including any significant part initially recognized is derecognized upon disposal or when no future economic benefits are expected from its use or disposal. Any gain or loss on disposal or retirement recognized in profit or loss in the year the asset is derecognized is the difference between the net sales proceeds and the carrying amount of the relevant asset.

 

CIP represents buildings under construction, and plant and equipment pending for installation, and is stated at cost less any impairment losses. Cost comprises construction expenditures, other expenditures necessary for the purpose of preparing the CIP for its intended use and those borrowing costs incurred before the assets are ready for their intended use that is eligible for capitalization. CIP is transferred to property, plant and equipment when the CIP is ready for its intended use.

 

Property, plant and equipment and intangible assets – recoverable amount (excluding goodwill)

 

In accordance with our accounting policy, each asset or cash-generating unit is evaluated in every reporting period to determine whether there are any indications of impairment. If any such indication exists, an estimate of the net recoverable amount is performed and an impairment loss is recognized to the extent that the carrying amount exceeds the recoverable amount. The recoverable amount of an asset or cash-generating unit of assets is measured at the higher of fair value less costs of disposal and value in use.

 

A fair value measurement of a non-financial asset takes into account a market participant’s ability to generate economic benefits by using the asset in its highest and best use or by selling it to another market participant that would use the asset in its highest and best use.

 

Value in use is generally determined as the present value of the estimated future cash flows of those expected to arise from the continued use of the asset in its present form and its eventual disposal. Present values are determined using a risk-adjusted pre-tax discount rate appropriate to the risks inherent in the asset. Future cash flow estimates are based on significant estimates and judgments involved in the projections of the future prices of aluminum and alumina, expected production and sales volumes, production costs, operating expenses, and discount rates applied to these forecasted future cash flows. These estimates and judgments may be affected by unexpected changes in the future market or economic conditions; hence, there is a possibility that changes in circumstances will alter these projections, which may impact on the recoverable amounts of the assets. In such circumstances, some or all of the carrying value of the assets may be impaired and the impairment would be charged against profit or loss.

 

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Goodwill - recoverable amount

 

In accordance with our accounting policy, goodwill is allocated to our cash generating units (“CGU”) as it represents the lowest level within the Company at which the goodwill is monitored for internal management purposes and is tested for impairment annually or more frequently if events or changes in circumstance indicated that the carrying amount may be impaired, by comparing the recoverable amount of the CGU and the carrying amount of the CGU. The recoverable amount is the higher of value in use and the fair value less costs of disposal. The recoverable amount of the underlying CGUs involved estimates and judgments, including future prices of aluminum and alumina, expected production and sales volumes, production costs, operating expenses, terminal growth rates used to estimate future cash flows and discount rates applied to these forecasted future cash flows of the underlying CGUs. These estimates and judgments may be affected by unexpected changes in future market or economic conditions.

 

Intangible assets - mining rights and mineral exploration rights

 

Our mineral exploration rights and mining rights relate to coal, bauxite and other mines.

 

(i)Recognition

 

Except for mineral exploration rights and mining rights acquired in a business combination, mineral exploration rights and mining rights are initially recorded at the cost which includes the acquisition consideration, qualifying exploration and other direct costs. The mineral exploration rights are stated at cost less any impairment, and the mining rights are stated at cost less any amortization and impairment.

 

(ii)Reclassification

 

Mineral exploration rights are converted to mining rights when technical feasibility and commercial viability of extracting a mineral resource are demonstrable, and are subject to amortization when commercial production has commenced.

 

We assess the stage of each mine under construction to determine when a mine moves into the production stage. The criteria used to assess the start date are determined based on the unique nature of each mine construction project. We consider various relevant criteria, such as completion of a reasonable period of testing of the mine and equipment, ability to produce in saleable form (within specifications) and ability to sustain ongoing production to assess when a mine is substantially complete and ready for its intended use.

 

(iii)Amortization

 

Amortization of bauxite and other mining rights (except for coal mining rights) is provided on a straight-line basis according to the shorter of the expiration date of the mining certificate and the mineable period of natural resources. Estimated mineable periods of the majority of the mining rights range from 3 to 30 years.

 

Coal mining rights are amortized on a unit-of-production basis over the economically recoverable reserves evaluated based on the reserves estimated in accordance with the standards in the Solid Mineral Resource/Reserve Classification of the PRC (GB/T17766-1999) of the mine concerned.

 

(iv)Impairment

 

An impairment review is performed when there are indicators that the carrying amount of the mineral exploration rights and mining rights may exceed their recoverable amounts. To the extent that this occurs, the excess is fully provided as an impairment loss.

 

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Leases

 

(1)           Applicable from January 1, 2019

 

We assess at contract inception whether a contract is, or contains, a lease. A contract is, or contains, a lease if the contract conveys the right to control the use of an identified asset for a period of time in exchange for consideration.

 

(i)As a lessee

 

We apply a single recognition and measurement approach for all leases, except for short-term leases and leases of low-value assets. We recognize lease liabilities to make lease payments and right-of-use assets representing the right to use the underlying assets.

 

(a)Right-of-use assets

 

Right-of-use assets are recognized at the commencement date of the lease (that is the date the underlying asset is available for use). Right-of-use assets are measured at cost, less any accumulated depreciation and any impairment losses, and adjusted for any remeasurement of lease liabilities. The cost of right-of-us assets includes the amount of lease liabilities recognized, initial direct costs incurred, and lease payment made at or before the commencement date less any lease incentives received. Right-of-use assets are depreciated on a straight-line basis over the shorter of the lease terms and the estimated useful lives of the assets as follows:

 

Buildings 2–20 years
Machinery 2–10 years
Land use rights 10–50 years

 

If ownership of the leased asset transfers to us by the end of the lease term or the cost reflects the exercise of a purchase option, depreciation is calculated using the estimated useful life of the asset.

 

(b)Lease liabilities

 

Lease liabilities are recognized at the commencement date of the lease at the present value of lease payments to be made over the lease term. The lease payments include fixed payments (including in-substance fixed payments) less any lease incentives receivable, variable lease payments that depend on an index or a rate, and amounts expected to be paid under residual value guarantees. The lease payments also include the exercise price of a purchase option reasonably certain to be exercised by us and payments of penalties for termination of a lease, if the lease term reflects us exercising the option to terminate. The variable lease payments that do not depend on an index or a rate are recognized as an expense in the period in which the event or condition that triggers the payment occurs.

 

In calculating the present value of lease payments, we use our incremental borrowing rate at the lease commencement date because the interest rate implicit in the lease is not readily determinable. After the commencement date, the amount of lease liabilities is increased to reflect the accretion of interest and reduced for the lease payments made. In addition, the carrying amount of lease liabilities is remeasured if there is a modification, a change in the lease term, a change in lease payments (e.g., a change to future lease payments resulting from a change in an index or rate) or a change in assessment of an option to purchase the underlying asset.

 

Our lease liabilities are included in interest-bearing bank and other borrowings.

 

(c)Short-term leases and leases of low-value assets

 

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We apply the short-term lease recognition exemption to our short-term leases of machinery and equipment (that is those leases that have a lease term of 12 months or less from the commencement date and do not contain a purchase option). We also apply the recognition exemption for leases of low-value assets to leases of office equipment that are considered to be of low value (i.e. below RMB30,000).

 

Lease payments on short-term leases and leases of low-value assets are recognized as an expense on a straight-line basis over the lease term.

 

(ii)As a lessor

 

When we act as a lessor, it classifies at lease inception (or when there is a lease modification) each of our leases as either an operating lease or a finance lease.

 

Leases in which we do not transfer substantially all the risks and rewards incidental to ownership of an asset are classified as operating leases. When a contract contains lease and non-lease components, we allocate the consideration in the contract to each component on a relative stand-alone selling price basis. Rental income is accounted for on a straight-line basis over the lease terms and is included in revenue in profit or loss due to its operating nature. Initial direct costs incurred in negotiating and arranging an operating lease are added to the carrying amount of the leased asset and recognized over the lease term on the same basis as rental income. Contingent rents are recognized as revenue in the period in which they are earned.

 

Leases that transfer substantially all the risks and rewards incidental to ownership of an underlying assets to the lessee, are accounted for as finance leases. At the commencement date, the cost of the leased asset is capitalized at the present value of the minimum lease payments and related payments (including the initial direct costs), and presented as a receivable at an amount equal to the net investment in the lease. The finance costs of such leases are charged to profit or loss so as to provide a constant periodic rate of charge over the lease terms.

 

(2)Applicable before January 1, 2019

 

Leases that transfer substantially all the rewards and risks of ownership of assets to us, other than legal title, are accounted for as finance leases. At the inception of a finance lease, the cost of the leased asset is capitalized at the present value of the minimum lease payments and recorded together with the obligation, excluding the interest element, to reflect the purchase and financing. Assets held under capitalized finance leases, including prepaid land lease payments under finance leases, are included in property, plant and equipment, and depreciated over the shorter of the lease terms and the estimated useful lives of the assets. The finance costs of such leases are charged to profit or loss so as to provide a constant periodic rate of charge over the lease terms.

 

Assets acquired through hire purchase contracts of a financing nature are accounted for as finance leases, but are depreciated over their estimated useful lives.

 

Leases where substantially all the rewards and risks of ownership of assets remain with the lessor are accounted for as operating leases. Where we are the lessor, assets leased by us under operating leases are included in non-current assets, and rentals receivable under the operating leases are credited to profit or loss on the straight-line basis over the lease terms. Where we are the lessee, rentals payable under operating leases net of any incentives received from the lessor are charged to profit or loss on the straight-line basis over the lease terms.

 

Prepaid land lease payments under operating leases are initially stated at cost and subsequently recognized on the straight-line basis over the lease terms.

 

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Provision for expected credit losses on trade receivables

 

We use a provision matrix to calculate expected credit losses for trade receivables. The provision rates are based on days past due for groupings of various customer segments that have similar loss patterns (i.e., by product type, customer type, and coverage by letters of credit and other forms of credit insurance).

 

The provision matrix is initially based on our historical observed default rates. We will calibrate the matrix to adjust the historical credit loss experience with forward-looking information. For instance, if forecast economic conditions (i.e. gross domestic products) are expected to deteriorate over the next year which can lead to an increased number of defaults in the manufacturing sector, the historical default rates are adjusted. At each reporting date, the historical observed default rates are updated and changes in the forward-looking estimates are analyzed.

 

The assessment of the correlation among historical observed default rates, forecast economic conditions and expected credit losses is a significant estimate. The amount of expected credit losses is sensitive to changes in circumstances and forecast economic conditions. Our historical credit loss experience and forecast of economic conditions may also not be representative of the customer’s actual default in the future. The information about the expected credit losses on our trade receivables is disclosed in Note 13 to our consolidated financial statements.

 

Estimated impairment of inventories

 

In accordance with our accounting policy, our management tests whether inventories suffered any impairment based on estimates of the net realizable amount of the inventories. For different types of inventories, it requires the estimation on selling prices, costs of conversion, selling expenses and the related tax expense to calculate the net realizable amount of inventories. For inventories held for executed sales contracts, management estimates the net realizable amount based on the contracted price. For raw materials and work-in-progress, our management has established a model in estimating the net recoverable amount at which the inventories can be realized in the normal course of business after considering our manufacturing cycles, production capacity and forecasts, estimated future conversion costs and selling prices. The management also takes into account the price or cost fluctuations and other related matters occurring after the end of the reporting period which reflect conditions that existed at the end of the reporting period.

 

It is reasonably possible that if there is a significant change in circumstances, including our business and the external environment, outcomes within the next financial year would be significantly affected.

 

Coal reserve estimates and units-of-production amortization for coal mining rights

 

External qualified valuation professionals evaluate “economically recoverable reserves” based on reserves estimated by external qualified exploration engineers in accordance with the PRC standards. The estimates of our coal reserves are inherently imprecise and represent only the approximate amounts of the coal reserves because of the subjective judgments involved in developing such information. Economically recoverable reserve estimates are evaluated on a regular basis and have taken into account recent production and technical information about each mine.

 

Income Tax

 

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