Contributing to the promotion of resource circulation through Large-scale processing of recycled materials in the copper smelting and refining business
[Company / organization] JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation
Time started (or to be started)
1980s: Beginning of e-scrap processing at the Company's recycling centers to recover precious metals.
2008: Beginning of e-scrap incineration preprocessing at Saganoseki.
2010: Establishment of a recycled materials collection center in Taiwan.
2014: Start of marketing support in the US.
April 2021: Relaunching Taiwan recycling center with enhanced collection and processing capacity.
April 2022: Planning to begin operation of large-scale preprocessing incinerator (Gasification Kiln).
Technology and business model
Using finite natural resources efficiently and preventing environmental pollution are essential for the sustainable growth of the entire world. JX Nippon Mining & Metals is endeavoring to promote circular use of nonferrous metal resources through its efforts to further increase the ratio of recycled raw materials such as e-scrap(*1) at its copper smelter and refineries.
The copper smelting process melts copper concentrate(*2) and separates metals into two layers, not through the use of fuel but via the oxidation reaction of the copper concentrate itself. By effectively utilizing this heat of reaction, combining ore smelting with the recycling of end-of-life products that contain nonferrous metals can significantly reduce life-cycle energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
As the pioneer in recycling nonferrous metals in Japan, since the 1980s, JX Nippon Mining & Metals has processed recycled materials alongside copper concentrate, refined copper as well as precious and rare metals, and supplied them to society in the form of ingots(*3), semiconductor materials, and other advanced materials. We have continuously increased processing capacity by connecting the Saganoseki Smelter & Refinery, our main operating site, with recycling centers across Japan. Furthermore, with the establishment of a recycled materials collection center in Taiwan in 2010 and the launch of marketing support in the US in 2014, we have built a global collection system for recycled materials, thereby actively contributing to the construction of a resource recycling society.
Now, we are building a new distribution center at Oita Port, near the Saganoseki Smelter & Refinery. Our aim is to develop the location as a global hub for nonferrous metal recycling, including enhancement of transportation efficiency and capacity for accepting recycled materials. The Saganoseki Smelter & Refinery, meanwhile, is proactively innovating its preprocessing technologies and facilities so that it can efficiently smelt and refine(*4) larger volumes of recycled materials, which require the separation of plastic and other impurities contained in them.
JX Nippon Mining & Metals will continue these and other initiatives to increase the percentage of raw materials it recycles and thereby contribute to a circular economy.
(*1) E-scrap: End-of-life circuit boards from mobile phones and other electronic devices. These circuit boards contain high concentrations of valuable metals.
(*2)copper concentrate: concentrated copper from 1% to 30% contained in ore
(*3) Ingots: Metal that has been melted and hardened.
(*4) Smelting and refining: The process of removing impurities and recovering specific metals from ore.
Achievements and goals
By 2040, We aim to increase the percentage of raw materials recycled at our copper smelter and refineries (relative to all materials) from the current 13% to 50%.
Sustainability Report, JX Nippon Mining & Metals website
Recycling and Environmental Services, JX Nippon Mining & Metals website
News release, JX Nippon Mining & Metals website
"JX Nippon Mining & Metals to construct recycled materials distribution center in Oita City," Nikkei
- Electrical/Electronic Equipment
- Individual company
- Currently under implementation (already in business)
- Case/initiative by individual company