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Good Morning Drunkstable....I mean Copper!

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Morning Drunkstable, what’s a two cent coin made of? Sorry Constable, I meant Mining Copper, a dangerous job ey! Oh the things we actually got away with when we were teenagers.

China's willingness to gamble so much in one of the world's poorest and riskiest nations testifies to its determination to acquire the commodities it needs to maintain its economic growth and social stability. In Mt. Toromocho in the Peruvian Andes, for example, the only copper deposit said to be larger than Aynak, China is relocating a town and its inhabitants to get at a mountain of copper ore.

Why the Chinese? Because they have money, they have lots of money! One day, when there is no more copper elsewhere in the world; The Chinese will have copper.

For the past almost a year as I have made my way back to my school from either the city or a long and muddy rice field ride I’ve always past by many other of the towns riders, all peddling a gleaming machine and clad in tights, oops I mean bike clothes, making their way either too or from Tangkuang town which is around twenty five kilometres down the road from my school and also happens to have 'supposedly’ the world’s second largest copper mine.

Due to it being a main road with speeding buses, trucks and cars I’ve always said a happy no to any offer to join them but today I woke and said, Good Morning Copper!

The day was absolutely beautiful with flocks of happy sheep sharing the blue sky above and me sharing diesel and petrol fumes with anything that sped by. Some of which were going so fast that they had me worrying that for the past year I had been missing something grand and my mind began to fill with thoughts such as;

Maybe they have buildings made of gold, streets paved with copper and all the street vendors spend their wealthy lives handing out free Beers N Noodles.

With thoughts of free Beers N Noodles running through my head my legs began pumping harder and soon I was like The Road Runner, except I didn’t have to personally say ‘Beep Beep’, everything that sped by took it upon themselves to do that for me. When I arrived I found the town almost empty so I quietly rode around in search of the free Beers N Noodles, gold buildings and copper streets. After about half an hour I found a happy old man who had one of my favourite street noodle snacks of all time, especially when I’m out riding.

I don’t know what its real name is because everyone calls it something different. Many call it Mien Pi, others something that sounds like Niang Pfs but putting the name aside they are cold, fun with chop sticks because they are slimy and come in a vinegar based soup which you can add soy sauce and/or chilli to but as I am usually on a long ride I always choose to pass on the chilli!

As I was eating what seemed like a billion buses arrived from which a trillion people got off and all were wearing the same blue uniform. It was like something from a movie and soon the streets were full of people who looked identical. It really was the strangest thing and obviously it was ‘shift change’ at the copper mine as once the ‘identicals’ filled all the little eateries around me new ‘identicals’ began filling the buses.

Tongkuang…..As a ride it was the easiest ride I’ve done in the past year, a little longer than some but it was on a main road and from the looks of it, it isn’t that old. Two lanes each way, grassy medium strip and a nice wide and safe (um…kind of safe…well, as safe as it gets here in China) road shoulder to ride.

Also no real hills which was a bonus after all the riding of been doing over the past week.

I still had several hours until the sheep went to sleep so after my noodles I slowly made my way back to Dexing leaving the main road to ride through several old villages where the population healthily tendered the lush green rice fields. Watching them made me think of Tangkuang’s population, all of whom are there for one reason and how unhealthy the town must actually be. As I rode I remembered several Dexing locals telling me that ‘so many people’ once died each year due to the water being filled with poison from the copper mine but since they built the large ‘filtering plant’ that number has dropped by more than ninety percent.

As I continued to ride back to Dexing I passed several billboards reminding me that Dexing is the ‘Copper Capital of China’ and as I passed those billboards I questioned; am I included in the other percentage?

I then giggled to myself and said; I smoke, I drink and I ride obsessively in China! My life is like daily ‘extreme sports’ but without the bungee cord!

<u>Now For a Bit on Copper in China and Abroad</u>

Jiangxi Copper Corporation, China's largest copper producer, is looking to explore more mines abroad as it aims to increase its annual output from nine hundred thousand tons in 2010 to one and a half million tons during the &#8216;12th Five Year Plan’ period (2011-2015) and invest in projects overseas to meet China’s demand for copper raw materials, which are needed as they expand the business over the next eight to ten years.

Jiangxi Copper may invest anywhere there are good opportunities, though some risk may exist as risk is always proportionate to reward. Maintaining the sustainable economic development and environmentally friendly policy proposed by the central government requires the company to expand business at various locations instead of just one.

Jiangxi Copper now owns two copper mines overseas, in Afghanistan and Peru.

The company acquired the Aynak copper mine in Afghanistan and the Northern Peru Copper Corp in 2007 and raised one billion dollars on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last year to fund the projects. The Afghanistan project, of which seventy five percent is owned by Metallurgical Corp China Ltd and twenty five percent by Jiangxi Copper, has been delayed due to the discovery of Buddhist relics at the mine that are more than one thousand five hundred years old.

As one of the main drivers of China's metals industry, Jiangxi Copper plans to join the list of the top five hundred companies in the world within the next five years.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

PS: and for those looking for a nice piece of ass after a long ride; Head to the towns Donkey Eatery, I'm sure there you'll get your fill! ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Pink Floyd The album was &#8216;Animals & The Final Cut’ ____________________________________________________________

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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