Japan Partnership for Circular Economy

Japan Partnership for Circular Economy


Recovering various types of valuable metals by a large-scale smelting and recycling complex

[Company / organization] DOWA HOLDINGS CO.,LTD.

Beginning period (plan), etc.

From the inception of Akita Zinc in 1972, a complex function was established based on the premise of mutual processing of residues with Kosaka Smelting & Refining (founded in 1884).

Explanation of technologies and business model

We have advanced technologies for recovering around 20 types of valuable metals, including various rare metals, which are contained in minute quantities in ores, as well as copper and zinc from various raw materials. We have cultivated these technologies through many years of mining and smelting business operation. At present, we also apply these technologies to recycle metals from various scrap materials.

In addition to processing smelting residues from Akita Zinc at Kosaka Smelting & Refining, we recover metals from recyclable materials (discarded electronic substrates and smartphones) generated in the market. Moreover, we have built a business model that has enabled the recovery of metals from incineration residues generated at the Group's waste incineration plant in Odate City, as well as diverse scrap materials, including discarded electronic substrates, from household appliance recycling plants. In addition, in Akita City, we recover zinc from steel dust generated at steel plants. Thus, we have formed a large-scale smelting and recycling complex in the overall Akita Region.

Further, we also make effective use of renewable energy and exhaust heat. For example, Kosaka Smelting & Refining uses power from hydroelectric plants it owns and steam from waste incineration plants of our Group.

Performance and goals, etc.

While our mainstay business has been smelting of nonferrous metals from ores, we have also begun recycling resources from various types of scrap, and have been increasing the volume of recyclable materials that we process.

The central role is played by Kosaka Smelting & Refining. It has introduced a new furnace in 2008, which has increased its capacity of processing recyclable materials to approx. 20,000 tons per year. To increase the recycling volume further, we have improved the process to minimize the impact of impurities contained in the materials. We continue stable operation by taking these and other steps to increase the recycling volume and items to recycle further.

We plan to aim to enhance the recycling complex in the overall Akita Region.

URL of document, etc. introducing initiatives