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Business

Japanese metal producers selling rights to Canadian mine

Mitsubishi Materials, Dowa, Furukawa see few years remaining in copper site

TOKYO -- Three Japanese companies will sell their combined 50% interest in a Canadian copper mine, as the development is seen having only about five more years of operational life.

Metal producer Mitsubishi Materials owns a 35.71% interest in the Huckleberry mine while Dowa Metals & Mining and machinery manufacturer Furukawa each hold 7.14% stakes. The group agreed to sell its portion to Canadian partner Imperial Metals for a total of $2 million.

The small-scale Huckleberry mine in British Columbia generated about 20,000 tons of copper last year. But production has been suspended since September. As the lone owner, Imperial plans to open new developments or lengthen Huckleberry's lifespan by exploring the environs.

The Japanese firms wish to increase their self-sufficiency ratio in minerals procurement ahead of future supply crunches. The Huckleberry withdrawal will reduce Mitsubishi Materials' ratio to 25%, though the company aims to lift the long-term metric to 50% via prospecting.

The Dowa Holdings unit, which seeks a self-sufficiency ratio of 50% by 2025, has signed on to mining development projects in the U.S. and Mexico in order to secure zinc ore.

(Nikkei)

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