“We will report a double-digit profit this year, not only for the listed branch but also for the seven other branches,” said Xiong Weiping, chairman of Chinalco.

The listed branch, Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, (Chalco), posted a net loss of RMB4.6bn ($684.01M) last year, when the financial crisis hit the aluminium market.

To get the company out of the woods, Xiong said, they implemented a salary reduction system, with a 30% cut for the general manager, and a 20-25% cut for vice-general mangers, until they reported a profit in August 2009.

Over the past two years, Chinalco's cost reductions saved it RMB6.8bn ($1.02bn).

Xiong said that structural reforms and diversification are essential to solving their problems.

Chinalco and its partner, the Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto, signed an agreement earlier this month to establish a joint venture to look for new copper and coking coal sources.

This is an expansion into other mining sectors, after the agreement on the Simandou iron ore project, in West Africa, with Rio Tinto.

Chinalco got government approvals in July to expand into other sectors including iron ore, coal, and rare earth.

Xiong said the company aims to become one of the top 10 global mining companies.

He also expects the overseas business to account for more than 50% of the whole group’s income and to accelerate the pace of acquiring overseas mining assets.