Japanese zinc smelters seeking mines: Dowa exec

Feb 27, 2013 | 02:16 PM | Andrea Hotter

Tags  zinc, copper, Dowa Metals & Mining, treatment charges, andrea hotter

CANCUN, Mexico — Struggling with the double whammy of high energy costs and low treatment charges, Japanese zinc smelters are moving to invest in mines in order to secure a steady supply of raw material, a senior executive at Dowa Metals & Mining Co. Ltd. said.

Toshiaki Suyama, general manager of the Tokyo-based company’s resource development and raw materials department, said Japan’s smelting sector does not get the state and local subsidies that its counterpart in China receives.

"Dowa is itself investing in zinc and copper mines to secure a steady supply of concentrates. We also expect a profit from the mine (that the company invests in), but it is important for us to secure concentrates," he told AMM.

Dowa, which operates Japan’s largest zinc smelter, gets about 30 percent of its zinc concentrate requirements from its own mines; the company plans to boost this to 50 percent within about five years. It also gets about 10 percent of its copper concentrates from its own mines, with a target of 30 percent within the same time frame.....





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