The roots of our Metals Business trace back to 1873 when the Company acquired the Yoshioka Mine. We have supported the development of Japanese industry and society for more than a century by providing copper and other metals, which are essential materials for a host of industries.
Our customer base has now spread out in the global market, and we are committed to making a contribution to worldwide industry and social infrastructure development through stable supply of high-quality, high-performance copper materials.
1kg Gold BarCopper Billet
The Metals Business divides its operations into four business segments: mining, smelting and refining, copper processing and precious metals.
The mining sector invests in overseas copper mines with the aim of securing the source of stable supply of copper concentrates for smelting and refining.
In the smelting and refining sector, we achieve highly efficient, environmentally-clean and stable operations with our advanced technologies, represented by the Mitsubishi Process. High-quality cathodes are produced domestically at the Naoshima Smelter & Refinery and Onahama Smelting and Refining Co., Ltd., and abroad at the Gresik Smelter and Refinery (PT. Smelting in Indonesia).
In recent years, we have applied the copper smelting process to establish a recycling system, with which we recover valuable metals from metal waste (E-Scrap)--a process sometimes referred to as "urban mining." We are proactively undertaking activities to promote effective use of the natural resources.
In the copper processing sector, we produce wrought copper products such as terminal connector materials for automobiles, electrical wires and copper tubes. We also apply our advanced technological capabilities to produce oxygen-free copper, oxygen-free copper alloys and other special copper alloys, which we supply globally.
In the precious metals department, we offer an accumlation plan called "My Gold Partner" for gold, silver and platinum, providing an alternative for private investors' asset building.
In the mining sector, we are developing new mines in an effort to further enhance the captive mine ratio.
In the smelting sector, we are aiming to become the world's leading processor of E-Scrap. To this end, we are building up our processing capacity, including our collection capabilities and processing facilities.
To become the world's most profitable company in the copper processing sector, we are expanding sales in emerging markets of MNEX, a new copper alloy. By also setting up a slitter business and sales facilities in emerging markets, we are cultivating the market for our unique alloys.
Discarded circuit boards from home appliances, personal computers, smartphones and other mobile phones, network equipment and various other electronics are commonly referred to as E-Scrap and contain a high concentration of gold, silver, copper, palladium and other valuable metals. This is the source for a new supply of valuable smelting materials, which in recent years has been gaining attention as an urban mine.
Furthermore, amid growing environmental concerns, the amount of E-Scrap recovered is expected to increase in line with the higher recycling rates of home appliances and other items.
Our Naoshima Smelter and Refinery, taking advantage of the Mitsubishi Process for continuous copper smelting, a unique technology for smelting precious metals with the lowest environmental impact in the industry, has been promoting the expansion of E-Scrap receiving and processing, and through the combined operations of our Naoshima facility and Group company Onahama Smelting and Refining Co., Ltd., we are working to expand this business further and achieve the leading share of the world market in terms of processing volume.
Our Metals Business got its start in 1873, when Mitsubishi founder Yataro Iwasaki acquired and began operations at the Yoshioka Mine in Okayama Prefecture. In 1887, we also acquired a mine in Osarizawa. Full-fledged smelting and refining operations commenced in 1896, when we acquired the Ikuno and Sado mines and a refinery in Osaka from the Japanese government.
|1873||Acquired and began operations at the Yoshioka Mine|
|1887||Acquired and began operations at the Osarizawa Mine|
|1896||Acquired the Ikuno Mine, the Sado Mine and a refinery in Osaka from the government|
|1917||Established the Naoshima Smelter & Refinery|
|1934||Acquired the Hosokura Mine (current Hosokura Metal Mining Company)|
|1958||Established the Akita Smelter & Refinery|
|1963||Established Onahama Smelting and Refining Co., Ltd.|
|1970||Established Ote Metals Co., Ltd. (current Materials Eco-Refining Co., Ltd.)|
|1990||Closed the Osaka Smelter & Refinery, established the Sakai Plant|
|1996||Established PT. Smelting in Indonesia|
|2004||Established Kobelco & Materials Copper Tube, Ltd.|
|2008||Converted Mitsubishi Shindoh Co., Ltd., to a consolidated subsidiary|
|2010||Converted Mitsubishi Cable Industries Co., Ltd., to a consolidated subsidiary|