Company to process rare earth metals at New York plant.
Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd., headquartered in Osaka, Japan, has started tungsten refining and scrap recycling operations in the United States. Sumitomo Electric Carbide Inc., a subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric, and New York Tungsten LLC, a subsidiary of Buffalo Tungsten Inc., a tungsten powder producer in the United States, have established a joint venture company, Niagara Refining LLC (NIRE), to produce tungsten trioxide (WO3) from raw ore as well as from recycled material at NIRE’s facility in Depew, N.Y.
Operations are set to begin in March 2014.
Until now, A.L.M.T Corp., a subsidiary of Sumitomo Electric, has imported WO3 from China and other countries to produce tungsten carbide powder as a raw material for carbide tools. A.L.M.T. also has been engaged in tungsten scrap recycling at itsToyama, Japan, plant since 2011.
With the start of NIRE’s operations, Sumitomo Electric will produce raw materials for tungsten by both refining tungsten ore from tungsten mines and by recycling scrap collected from the market.
Sumitomo Electric says it will accelerate its activities to facilitate a stable supply of tungsten raw materials through using WO3 produced by NIRE and tungsten carbide powder production by A.L.M.T. This will allow Sumitomo Electric to control the supply chain from raw materials all the way to the finished product, which will further strengthen its competitiveness and achieve synergy through cooperation within the group, according to the company.