Xin Song, the President of China National Gold Corporation, has confirmed that the state sponsored company is on the hunt for potential partners. Song said he has had talks with Barrick Gold, the world largest gold producer.

Last year China consumed 1,176 metric tonnes of gold and overtook India as the world’s largest consumer of gold. Any mergers by China National would be a welcomed by an industry suffering from increasing costs and a slump in the gold price.

China has invested a considerable amount of money in the resource sector but has yet to invest a significant amount of gold mining companies. Mr Song confirmed the company’s strategy has now changed as they look for acquisitions in the gold, silver and copper sector.

In 2013 China increased its internal mine production by 41%.