Mitsui & Co. to Expand Metals, Resources Business

Mitsui & Co. plans to keep investing in metal and resources mainly for existing projects in fiscal 2012 started April. The firm keeps expanding Australian iron ore joint ventures and developing Chilean copper mine. The firm eyes potential new investment for competitive assets including exploration projects based on the rich cash flow. The firm expands the businesses including recycling related business while the firm seeks synergy between mineral and metal resources and iron and steel products units.

The firm reshuffled the business segments to seek synergy between the units by improving the business bases for each unit. The vice president Fuminobu Kawashima said the firm tries to improve the profitability for resource and energy business through the synergy.

The firm invested 270 billion yen in fiscal 2011 and 500 billion yen in past 2 years for mineral resources and energy. The firm invested in various projects including Australian iron ore expansion, Chilean copper mine development and Philippine nickel projects. .The firm plans 200 billion yen of investment in metals business.

The firm expects the equity iron ore increases from 47 million tonnes in fiscal 2011 to 55 million tonnes in 3 years through existing alliances with Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. The firm also increases the equity coal from 9.4 million tonnes in fiscal 2011 to 12 million tonnes in a couple of years. The firm tries to expand equity mainly in copper, nickel and aluminium in mid-term.