Sumitomo Metal Mining Expends 3 billion yen for Exploration

Sumitomo Metal Mining expends 3 billion yen for exploration in fiscal 2006 ending March 2007. The firm planned 2 billion yen original for existing operations and new sources with 1 billion yen each. However, the new exploration activity will increase to 2 billion yen after the firm started the nickel resource development in Solomon Islands in June. The firm tries to accelerate the exploration activities through wholly owned properties and joint venture with mineral majors in Chile, Canada, Australia and Alaska to secure stable sources under the oligopoly market. The firm started the exploration in Choiseul island of Solomon Islands. The firm searches laterite ore with 1-3% of nickel in the wholly owned property. The firm established research laboratory in the capital of Honiara to analyze the ore. The firm sends 5 geologic engineers and hires local engineers totaling more than 30 persons team including local staff. The firm sends drilling engineering at first to transfer the know how to the local engineers. The firm cooperates with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation for the exploration in Solomon. The firm plans an exploration in Solomon other than Choiseul and starts the activity after mining lease negotiation. The firm also seeks new resources including nickel sulfide ore, gold and copper in Canada and gold in Alaska. The firm tries to find new copper resources in Australia through wholly owned property and joint venture with majors.