Dowa to Switch from Copper Ore to Scrap at Kosaka Smelter

Dowa Holdings will stop operation of smelting at Kosaka Smelting & Refining in Akita Prefecture, Japan, a nonferrous metal smelting subsidiary of Dowa Group, in March 2008. Dowa has constructed a new furnace at Kosaka which can make electrolytic copper from copper scrap, which will be completed this summer and start test run. Dowa will switch from the existent furnace to the new furnace after the firm confirmed smooth operation of the new equipment.Kosaka processes copper concentrate and copper scrap of total 300,000 tonnes per year by the furnace and produces electrolytic copper of approximately 60,000 tonnes per year. Dowa will become free from copper concentrate procurement for Kosaka after the commercial operation of the new furnace. In other words, Dowa can reduce the impact of copper concentrate purchasing provisions contracted with offshore miners. Dowa keeps copper concentrate procurement for Onahama Smelting & Refining, a joint smelting company among Japanese nonferrous metal smelters. Dowa Holdings posted consolidated net profit of 26.337 billion yen in fiscal 2006 ended March 2007, which upped by 1.2% from fiscal 2005 and hit record high for 3 years in a row. For the Nonferrous Metals Business Unit, the firm posted net sales of 276.6 billion yen, up by 62.6% from previous year, and recurring profit of 25.3 billion yen, up by 60.1%. Dowa enjoyed favorable sales and profits thanks to the sales volume increase and price upsurge of nonferrous metals. Minera Tisapa, a Mexican mine in which Dowa invests, also contributed to the profit expansion. Dowa estimates sales and profits would decrease in fiscal 2007 from fiscal 2006 when nonferrous metal prices are expected to down. The firm estimates consolidated net sales of 410 billion yen, recurring profit of 41 billion yen and net profit of 20 billion yen for fiscal 2007.