Japan's Mitsubishi and Hanwa target European e-scrap

Asia: Japanese giants Mitsubishi Materials Corporation (MMC) and Hanwa Co. Ltd have established a new company at Moerdijk in the Netherlands to expand collections of e-scrap from Europe. The joint venture, named MM Metal Recycling BV, will also build a centre for receiving, inspecting and sampling e-scrap in an investment totalling approximately Yen 4 billion (US$ 40 million).

According to MMC, which has a 90% equity stake in the new entity and Hanwa 10%, the new centre ‘will significantly shorten the period for valuation of e-scrap’ to the benefit of customers; completion is scheduled for the spring of 2017.

MMC claims to have the world’s largest e-scrap processing capacity of approximately 140 000 tonnes per annum following an expansion of its Naoshima smelter and refinery in Japan; this project was completed in April this year and added around 30 000 tonnes of annual capacity.

MMC’s overall capacity figure for processing e-scrap also incorporates the operations of its subsidiary Onahama Smelting and Refining Co., Ltd, also of Japan.

The ‘low-cost’ Mitsubishi process for continuous copper smelting is said to ‘prevent sulfurous acid gas leaks, creating zero-emission processing plants with non-polluting systems that process efficiently, unlike conventional processes’.

MMC’s efforts to build its overseas e-scrap collection infrastructure also led to the setting-up of a dedicated department within Mitsubishi Materials USA Corporation two years ago.

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