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Sumitomo to launch scandium recovery business

Sumitomo MetalMining Co. Ltd. will establish operations for the recovery of scandiumat its nickel plant with an investment of about ¥4 billion and has concluded a long-termsales agreement of scandium oxide with a major U.S.-based fuel cell manufacturer,it said April 28.

The company constructed a pilot plant at its subsidiary in the Philippinesin 2013, and developed technology for commercial-scale scandium recovery from thenickel and cobalt mixed sulfides manufacturing process.

Following the successful test result, Sumitomo has decided toconstruct a plant for the recovery of an intermediate product at its Philippinessubsidiary, Taganito HPAL Nickel Corp.,with production scheduled to start in spring 2018.

The intermediate product will then be processed into scandiumoxide at the company's Harima refinery. The operation will have a production capacityof 7.5 tonnes per year of scandium oxide equivalent.

Sumitomo will also make efforts to expand the range of uses forscandium and develop the market along with potential customers.