UK-based mining company Anglo American and Chinese copper miner Jiangxi Copper have entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work on responsible copper production.

Signed in Jiangxi Copper’s headquarters in Nanchang, China, the MoU will be part of Anglo American’s work with customers in creating sustainable value chains beyond its own mining operations.

Anglo American marketing business CEO Peter Whitcutt said: “We are developing a series of partnerships to shape a more sustainable and customer-centric value chain – one that meets consumer-driven demand for copper with demonstrably strong provenance credentials.

“That value chain begins with our portfolio of high-quality and long-life assets, now also including our world-class Quellaveco mine in Peru, which began production in 2022.

China is the largest copper-consuming country in the world, accounting for more than half of refined copper consumption in the world.

The element is mainly used in construction, appliances and machinery, as well as in fast-growing renewable energy and electric vehicles.

Copper is also expected to play a significant role in the country’s own decarbonisation efforts.

Jiangxi Copper deputy general manager Chen Yunian said: “As one of the world’s largest copper producers, Jiangxi Copper is committed to green, sustainable and high-quality development.

“Through this cooperation with Anglo American, we will focus on advanced technologies and innovative applications of mining, processing and smelting, and promote the development of a sustainable and responsible copper supply chain with a focus on renewable energy utilisation, energy conservation and emission reduction.”

In April, Anglo American obtained an environmental permit for a $3bn extension of Chile’s Los Bronces copper project, enabling the project to access high-grade ore from a new underground section.