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Dowa Metals & Mining: Overview of Operations

High-level Smelting Technology That Produces New Key Materials

Dowa Metals & Mining Co., Ltd. is responsible for the Dowa Group’s nonferrous metals operations, which are the foundation of the Group. With a high level of technological capability in the copper and precious metals, zinc, rare metals, and recycling businesses, Dowa Metals & Mining is steadily expanding its operations. It is engaged in a program of vigorous investment in an effort to strengthen its business base.

Business Strategies

Copper and precious metals business Pursue an original business model that is integrated with the environmental business.
Increase the recycling ratio by building new processes and bolstering overseas collection at Kosaka Smelting & Refining Co., Ltd.
Zinc business, rare metals business Become the top firm in collective strength in East Asia through vigorous investment and operational reforms to strengthen the business base in every area from raw materials procurement through processing and sales

Introduction to Principal Businesses

Copper and precious metals business: Leverages the strength of its smelting plant for precious metals recycling

The origin of Dowa Mining Co., Ltd. Kosaka Smelting & Refining Co., Ltd. (Kosaka City, Akita Prefecture)
The origin of Dowa’s metal business
Kosaka Smelting & Refining Co., Ltd.

The history of the Dowa Group began in the Kosaka mine, located in northern part of Japan. The ore (black ore) mined in this region is rich in gold and silver, but these were difficult to extract, which inhibited their effective utilization. Dowa Metals & Mining challenged this technological barrier aggressively, and as a result of many years of technical improvements, developed technology for recovering various metals mixed in complex ways.
Precious metals recovery and recycling based on this black ore processing technology is a specialty of the Kosaka Smelting & Refining Co., Ltd., which continues to evolve as a smelting plant with an individual character.

The zinc business and the rare metals business: Japan’s largest zinc smelting plant

Zinc bullion used for plating and other purposes
Zinc bullion used for plating and other purposes
<Procurement of raw ore>
The company primarily purchases zinc ore from overseas mines. Dowa Metals & Mining has taken a capital position in Mexico’s Tizapa mine to ensure the stable procurement of ore for zinc production.
Development of the Tizapa mine began in 1992, and full-scale production commenced in 1994. It is a large mine, with estimated reserves of 10 million tons of zinc ore containing large amounts of precious metals, and is one of the major supports of Dowa Metals & Mining’s zinc business.

Click here for details on ore procurement.

The raw ore from overseas mines and raw materials that Akita Zinc Recycling Co.,Ltd., recycled from iron and steel dust are processed by Akita Zinc Co., Ltd., and electrolytic zinc is produced. Dowa Metals & Mining Co., Ltd., has an 81% stake in Akita Zinc, which is its joint-consignment smelting subsidiary. Akita Zinc is Japan’s largest producer of electrolytic zinc, with an annual output of 200,000 tons, and is regarded as among the top zinc smelters in the world in terms of quality and productivity. The zinc bullion produced is converted to products that meet the needs of diverse customers by Akita Zinc Solutions Co., Ltd., which are then marketed by Zinc Excel Co., Ltd. An integrated business structure has been established that covers every phase from the mining of raw ore to the production and sale of finished goods.

Zinc ore contains rare metals, including gallium, which is a semiconductor material, and indium, which is indispensable to the manufacture of transparent electrodes for liquid crystal panels.

Akita Rare Metals Co., Ltd., refines the indium found in zinc ore, and since April 2003, has been engaged in the recovery of indium from used ITO targets (plates used to transfer an indium tin oxide film to glass substrates during the manufacture of liquid crystal panels).The scale of the companyfs operations has grown steadily each year.

Rare metals business: Supplies advanced materials to support the development of an IT society.

Click here for details on Rare metals business.

Used catalyst material
Used catalyst material

DOWA Metals & Mining is engaged in the recovery of Platinum Group Metals (PGM), including platinum, palladium, and rhodium, from used automotive catalyst materials mainly.

Our plant, NIPPON PGM Co.,Ltd., is one of the few PGM smelter and it can recover PGM in high yield and in short period by its unique refining process “ROSE Process”. And the technology of sampling and analysis is highly appreciated worldwide.

Used catalyst materials are collected from all over the world. DOWA Group established NIPPON PGM AMERICA, INC (NJ, USA) in 2004 and NIPPON PGM EUROPE S.R.O. (Liberec, Czech) in 2010 as a base of collection and sampling, to enable early sampling and analysis.

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