Sumitomo Metal Mining to Import More for Metals Recycle

Sumitomo Metal Mining improves offshore raw materials collection system to recover molybdenum and vanadium from oil refinery catalyst. The domestic supply is getting tight when Toyama based JFE Material group enters into the market. Sumitomo Metal Mining started offshore procurement at annual several thousand tonnes since 2005 continuing the purchase. Kobe based major maker of molybdenum and vanadium, Taiyo Koko purchases offshore catalyst at annual several thousand tonnes. Sumitomo Metal Mining recovers valuable metals including molybdenum and vanadium from oil refinery catalyst at its wholly owned subsidiary, Nippon Catalyst Cycle in Niihama. The firm recovers 700-800 tonnes of molybdenum trioxide and 600-700 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide at the facility with annual 17,000 tonnes of treatment capacity. The raw material of oil refinery catalyst generation is annual 24,000 tonnes in Japan. Sumitomo Metal Mining and Taiyo Koko used the raw material for themselves until 2005. However, a joint venture, of which JFE Material controls 52% with 27.5% share by Mitsubishi Corporation and 20% by Kashima Kita Electric Power, entered into the market. They have to compete to secure the raw materials. Sumitomo Metal Mining started procurement of raw material from Indonesia, Taiwan and Southeast Asia expanding the activity. Tokyo based Nippon Ketjen, which is a joint venture by Sumitomo Metal Mining and US oil refinery catalyst maker, Albemarle Corporation, produces and sells oil refinery catalyst. Sumitomo Metal Mining establishes sourcing system of used oil refinery catalyst from Nippon Ketjen’s customers by priority while Sumitomo Metal Mining makes use of the tie-up of the subsidiaries. The JFE Material leaded joint venture received approval for industrial waste treatment from Toyama prefecture in January. The firm starts the commercial operation on April 24 after the test running. The firm recovers nickel, molybdenum and vanadium from used oil refinery catalyst and boiler ash of thermal power plant to make ferroalloy.