Australia-based PCF Capital Group and China’s Zhaojin International Mining have entered a partnership with a signing ceremony for the Golden Gateway joint venture (JV).

The JV is expected to increase Chinese investment in Western Australia’s (WA) mining sector.

Through the JV, Hong Kong-based Zhaojin intends to invest in WA’s gold mining sector, while PCF will look for opportunities and offer advice on potential deals.

WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said: “Congratulations to Zhaojin International Mining and PCF Capital on this significant partnership, which mirrors the McGowan Government’s commitment to building our strong economic ties with China.

“Western Australia’s innovative and globally competitive gold industry is a key component of our reputation as a destination of choice for resource investment.

“It’s also never been a better time to invest, with the Australian gold price hitting record levels this month.”

Since 2006, China has been the largest market for merchandise exports and a key investor for the resources sector in Western Australia.

In WA, several Chinese companies hold direct interests in projects across a range of commodities such as iron ore, manganese, liquefied natural gas, gold and lithium.

The JV is expected to enable other Chinese companies to make additional investments in WA’s resources sector.

WA Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley said: “Western Australia places great value on its economic relationship with our Asian neighbours – particularly China as our biggest trading partner.

“Attracting foreign investment that helps to create and support jobs in WA’s resources sector, as well as other sectors of the State’s economy, is a key priority of our strategic engagement with Asia.”