|Railroad for transporting Jimblebar iron ore
(Photo courtesy of BHP Billiton)
In this business field, we develop and trade raw materials for steel, electric power, and other basic industries around the world, aiming to ensure stable supply of materials to such industries.
In the area of iron ore, we are operating several iron ore mining joint ventures such as Mt. Newman in Australia with resources giant BHP-Billiton. Annual production capacity of these ventures exceeds 270 million tons. In Brazil, we, as the largest shareholder among a consortium of Japanese , Korean, and Taiwanese companies, have an equity in Congonhas Minérios, an iron ore producer affiliated with the major Brazilian steel producer Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN). We have been operating these businesses, to strengthen the supply capacity in Australia and Brazil. We also pay attention to the minor metals that are essential in various industries. For example, we are developing PGM/nickel project in South Africa.
In coal, we are collaborating with the leading resources company Glencore to operate coal-producing joint ventures in Queensland and New South Wales in Australia, with annual production output exceeding 30 million tons. In addition, the Drummond Coal Mine in Columbia, in which we acquired a 20% interest in 2011, is one of the world’s largest deposit with an annual production output of 30 million tons.
In the field of nuclear fuel, ITOCHU trades uranium and is a partner in several overseas uranium mining and exploration projects. ITOCHU also provides agency services for marketing uranium fuel and enrichment services in the Japanese market. Over the past decade, ITOCHU has grown to be a top level trader in the global uranium market.
All our mining projects in Australia, like iron ore, coal, and alumina are held and centralized by our affiliate, ITOCHU Mineral & Energy of Australia Pty. Ltd. for efficient operations.