Sojitz Corporation

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Metals, Mineral Resources & Recycling Division

In addition to upstream investment and trading in metal resources and ferrous materials, the Metals, Mineral Resources & Recycling Division has made a full-scale entry into the circular economy field, which includes recycling businesses, and this division is working to create and promote new businesses that respond to social needs.

Strengths of the Division

External Environment

Opportunities

  • Growth in demand for mineral resources, steel, and industrial materials centered on emerging countries
  • Demand for new products arising from strengthened and revised environmental regulations
  • Increased demand for new technologies and materials that contribute to the development of a sustainable society
  • Higher demand for eco-friendly businesses, such as recycling and by-product management

Risks

  • Reduction to revenues from fluctuations in resource prices and exchange rates and inflation
  • Rising geopolitical risks, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, resource nationalism, and trade friction between the United States and China
  • Substitute products and strengthened regulations resulting in lower product competitiveness
  • Global trend toward carbon taxes and other stringent environmental regulations

Growth Strategy

Against the backdrop of global warming and the accelerating shift toward the decarbonization of society seen in recent years, we will transition to sustainable businesses in the fields of metals and resources. We will also strengthen our efforts in the field of recycling with an eye toward the circular economies of the near future.

Osamu Matsuura

Executive Officer, COO
Metals, Mineral Resources & Recycling Division

Under Medium-Term Management Plan 2023, the Metals, Mineral Resources & Recycling Division is advancing initiatives with a focus on three business fields. In these fields of focus, we will work to rapidly create businesses in new areas based on trends such as the recent emphasis on resource conservation and recycling and decarbonization. Through these businesses, we will seek to contribute to the resolution of social issues. At the same time, the division will accelerate the transformation of its business portfolio.

The first business field on which the Metals, Mineral Resources & Recycling Division will focus is the circular economy field, particularly the areas of metal and waste recycling. In this field, we will seek to establish businesses with a significant sense of scale.

The second field is new businesses that address social needs related to decarbonization, hydrogen, rechargeable batteries, and new materials. We are accelerating our initiatives in this area.

The third field is upstream interests. Specifically, we will conduct ongoing investments in competitive upstream interests in metal resource fields. In these undertakings, we will seek to fulfill our mission as a general trading company—delivering goods and services where necessary—based on consideration of contemporary concerns such as changing social needs, supply chain stability, and synergies with other fields. By conducting asset replacement when necessary, the division will build a high-quality portfolio of upstream assets.

In this manner, we will endeavor to bolster competitiveness in metal resources, steel products, and other existing business fields while fostering future earnings pillars based on social changes and megatrends.

Businesses

Business Map

Niobium mine in Brazil
(Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração)

Products created using 3D metal printer
(JAMPT Corporation)

■Coking Coal and Steel Products Businesses

In order to achieve sustainable growth and address rising global environmental awareness, the Metals, Mineral Resources & Recycling Division is quickly withdrawing from thermal coal businesses. At the same time, we are ramping up production and pursuing cost reductions at the Gregory Crinum coal mine, Sojitz’s flagship coking coal mine in Australia.
Making use of the mine’s existing infrastructure, and our accumulated expertise as the sole general trading company with experience operating its own mine, we will venture into contract mining in surrounding mines. Meanwhile, in the steel products business of Metal One Corporation, which Sojitz founded together with Mitsubishi Corporation, we are pursuing synergies while collaborating and providing support.

■Circular Economy Businesses

Sojitz is growing circular economy businesses that promote the reuse and recycling of resources based on the trends toward decarbonization and resource recycling. Our initiatives on this front have included investment in IT asset disposition company TES-AMM JAPAN K.K.; polyethylene terephthalate chemical recycling company PET REFINE TECHNOLOGY, Co., Ltd.; and renewable resource procurement platform provider Recotech Co., Ltd. In such circular economy businesses for recycling metal, plastic and other waste, we aim to develop businesses with a certain degree of scale in order to make contributions to the realization of a recycling-oriented society.

■Businesses That Respond to Social Needs

We will pursue the creation of new businesses in the fields of rechargeable batteries and decarbonization, where there is great social need. In addition to initiatives already underway, including the development of anode materials for lithium-ion batteries for use in electric vehicles, participation in production and sales businesses for the new material graphene, and hydrogen-related demonstration projects, we have also launched a rechargeable battery reuse and recycling business as well as initiatives in emissions trading and CCUS (carbon capture, utilization, and storage). Moreover, 3D metal printing business operator JAMPT is responding to demand for highmix, low-volume production of high-precision products. Uses for this company’s 3D metal printing approach include the development of lighter weight automotive components as well as dental applications.

TOPICS

Market-Oriented Initiatives

IT Asset Disposition and e-Scrap Business

The Metals, Mineral Resources & Recycling Division invested in IT asset disposition service provider TES-AMM JAPAN K.K., in January 2021, commencing metal recycling and reuse initiatives in the circular economy field. This decision was made based on the rising needs for addressing data leakage risks in the midst of efforts to reduce emissions and environmental impacts and in the face of depleted natural resource reserves.
Looking ahead, we aim to expedite the development of an IT asset disposition and e-scrap business by bolstering the resource collection operations that are the first step in recycling the metal resources used in electronic equipment. Through metal recycling and reuse activities, the Metals, Mineral Resources & Recycling Division aims to contribute to a recycling-oriented society while also developing a competitive metal resource recycling chain in its IT asset disposition and e-scrap business that can be deployed in Japan and in other regions.

Collaboration

Practical Application and Commercialization of Membrane-Based DAC Technology

Sojitz has partnered with Kyushu University to pursue the practical application and commercialization of a direct air capture (DAC) technology for directly capturing CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. Kyushu University’s technology is the world’s first membrane-based DAC technology, which makes it possible to capture CO2 from the air through a membrane separation system. This new technology will increase the number of possible locations for CO2 capture equipment by greatly reducing the geographical restrictions on implementation. The recovered CO2 can be used as a raw material for fuels and chemicals as well as for cultivation of crops and for production of beverages and dry ice. With this technology, Kyushu University and Sojitz seek to promote carbon neutral initiatives and provide solutions to social issues through the practical application of DAC technology toward the realization of a sustainable society.

Membrane with a width of 1/300 of a strand of human hair

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