Itochu’s Energy, Metals & Minerals Unit Plans 200 billion Investment

Itochu Corporation’s energy, metals & minerals unit plans to invest 150-200 billion yen in 2 years to fiscal 2008 ending March 2009 under the new 2-year plan, Frontier 2008. The firm plans investment for expansion of existing business, exploration and aluminium new item. The firm tries to earn more than a third of the corporate net profit through the expanding of mineral resources even when minerals price decreases from now. The firm plans 500 billion yen of investment in the 2 years for consumer related sectors, natural resource and energy related sectors and other sectors including automobile, information, finance and chemical. The firm invested around 500 billion yen under previous plan, Frontier 2006, in which the firm allocated a quarter each to consumer and natural resource and energy sectors and a half for others. The energy, metals & minerals unit considers expansion of Western Australian iron ore project up to annual 200 million tonnes of output, which is called as RGP-5, just after the firm and the partners decided to expand the business to 155 million tonnes for RGP-4 and to 129 million tonnes for RGP-3. Itochu Corp., which has 8% interest in the business, will double the iron ore interest after the RGP-5. The firm tries to seek new iron ore resources in areas other than Australia. The firm increases the iron ore resources by 50% to 12 million tonnes by 2010 from current 8 million tonnes per month. The unit seeks new coal mining business in Mongolia and China along with existing Australia and Indonesia. The firm increases the coal resources by 50% to 12 million tonnes by 2010. The unit also seeks new resource opportunities for nonferrous metals depending on portfolio of commodities and areas.