Zhaojin Mining's top of mind risk when assessing investments
Getting deals done has been slowed by COVID-19, said Daniel Rickleman, VP at Zhaojin International Mining.
Rickleman spoke to Kitco last week. He was a speaker at Mines and Money APAC conference in June.
Zhaojin Mining is one of China's largest gold miners. The company has a 9.9% stake in Sabina Gold and Silver. Last year Zhaojin told Reuters it was looking to double output from its current 650,000 ounces output by mid-2020 through overseas acquisitions.
But the pandemic has made due diligence more difficult, said Rickleman.
"We do site visits and spend a lot of time with management. That's something we can't do at the moment," said Rickelman.
"There are opportunities coming in now that we really have to think seriously about: how can we get involved because we just don't know the timing of when we can travel."
When evaluating projects Rickleman said local community support is top of mind.
"I think technical risk is manageable, to a degree, but community risk can be incredibly complex, and that is something we don't feel comfortable taking on."
Asked one thing Western companies should keep in mind when working with Chinses firms, Rickleman said it is an error to view Chinese companies as all the same.
"The common perception of Chinese companies is that they are a singular thing, but I feel that is the first mistake when thinking about working with Chinese groups. They all have very different histories and, and management cultures and internal capacity."