JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corp, the metals unit of Japan’s Eneos Holdings Inc, said on Friday it will join a project to produce tantalum, used in semiconductors, at the Mibra mine in Brazil, marking its entry into the rare metals market.
The joint venture of JX Nippon Mining and Brazil’s AMG Brasil will start producing tantalum concentrate from ore produced at AMG’s Mibra mine from January, the Japanese company said in a statement.
JX, which produces copper at its Caserones mine in Chile, aims to invest in rare metals that are essential for the production and development of advanced materials, used in semiconductors and capacitors.
Demand for tantalum is expected to increase in line with the growth in mobile devices and telecommunications infrastructure, the company said.
JX’s unit Taniobis will buy the concentrates on a priority basis.
(By Yuka Obayashi and Louise Heavens; Editing by Louise Heavens)