Energy and Natural Resources Financing for Similco Copper Mine Redevelopment Project
Supporting Japanese Firms’ Efforts to Ensure Long-term Stable Delivery and Diversify Procurement Sources of Copper Concentrate
- Area: North America
- Energy and Natural Resources
- Overseas Investment Loans
- The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC; President & CEO: Hiroshi Watanabe)*1 signed on May 28 (Japan time) a loan agreement totaling 160 million US dollars with Similco Finance Ltd., a Canadian corporation in which Mitsubishi Materials Corporation (MMC) has an equity stake, to finance the Similco Copper Mountain Project in Canada.
- Under the project, MMC and Copper Mountain Mining Corporation (CMMC), a company incorporated in Canada, will jointly restart the Similco copper mine (British Columbia, Canada). Production will commence in 2011, and the copper concentrate generated from the project totaling 150,000 tons annually will be purchased by MMC to be supplied to copper smelters in Japan.
- Copper is a raw material used extensively for various products, including electric cables, electrical equipment, transport vehicles such as automobiles, and construction materials. Japan relies solely on imports for all of its copper concentrate (approx. 4.78 million tons in 2009), from which copper cathodes are produced. In particular, imports from Chile account for 36% of Japan’s total imports. Upon completion, this project is expected to meet about 3% of Japan’s annual demand for copper concentrate, thereby helping diversify procurement sources of this important mineral resource.
- In the face of pressure due to a sharp increase in copper concentrate demand in the People's Republic of China and Republic of India, Japan is increasingly being urged to secure more copper concentrate. By providing this loan, JBIC aims to help Japanese firms secure a long-term and stable supply of resources that are essential for Japanese firms. JBIC will continue providing financial support to facilitate the development and acquisition of strategically important resources through project structuring and risk-taking functions that draw on its various financial facilities.
- *1 JBIC is the international wing of the Japan Finance Corporation (JFC; Governor: Shosaku Yasui).