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In Depth: How Chinese miner lost Pacific Island gold mine rights

In wake of Papua New Guinea loss, Zijin goes on acquisition and debt binge

A dispute over mining rights in the Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG) has seen one of China's biggest mining companies accelerate a spending spree that has left it saddled with debt and facing a potential downgrade by the three major ratings firms.

Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. has splashed more than $1.3 billion on projects at home and abroad since April 24, when the PNG government surprised it and its Canadian joint-venture partner Barrick Gold Corp. by refusing to renew the lease on their mine in Porgera, in the country's northwest.

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