Mitsubishi Materials to buy out Onahama copper smelter partners

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Japan’s Mitsubishi Materials Corp will take full ownership of its Onahama Smelting and Refining copper joint venture in March, buying the stakes of DOWA Holdings and Furukawa Co, it said on Friday.

The move is aimed at establishing a flexible and efficient decision-making structure to help the smelter overcome soaring electricity and fuel costs.

Mitsubishi Materials, Japan’s third-largest copper supplier, also plans to construct a new pre-processing facility for recycled materials at the Onahama plant.

Onahama, located in Fukushima, north of Tokyo, is currently 55.7% owned by Mitsubishi Materials, 31.6% by DOWA and 12.7% by Fukukawa.

After the acquisition on March 31, Mitsubishi Materials will hold 100% of the business.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Mitsubishi Materials said there will be little impact on its earnings for the year to March 31.

(By Yuka Obayashi; Editing by David Goodman)

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