Aluminum Corporation of China (Chinalco) is shifting its investment focus from aluminium to copper to capitalise on the latter’s growth potential.

Since the beginning of last year, prices of copper have jumped by 130% compared to aluminium, which increased by 44%.

Chinalco set up subsidiary China Copper Company in 2009 to capitalise on the positive prospects of copper.

Chinalco vice-president Lu Youqing was quoted by Reuters as saying that copper was the company’s next main development target.

“The company is eyeing Ivanhoe Mines’ Mongolia-based copper-gold project as a potential target,” Youqing said.

Lu said Chinalco was examining global copper resources to locate the most suitable investment opportunities, including acquisition of copper mines, but had not yet initiated negotiations with any potential sellers.