Segment Information

Last Update : July, 2020

Mineral Resources Segment

Sumitomo has been involved in the mineral resources business ever since the discovery of the Besshi Copper Mine in 1690. The technologies cultivated through the years at Besshi have subsequently been carried on at the Hishikari Gold Mine, which opened in 1983. Today Hishikari ranks among the world’s foremost sources of gold – a precious commodity the mine continues to produce in significant quantities.
In addition to its mineral resource operations in Japan, Sumitomo Metal Mining has for many years engaged in the development of mines overseas. Today the company is actively undertaking exploration at its own mines and participating in the development of jointly owned mines at points all around the globe.
Going forward, the company will continue striving for stable operation of its gold mines at Hishikari and Pogo, in Alaska, and will vigorously carry forward with further development of gold, copper and nickel resources.

Overview of performance in FY2019

  • Segment income was down year on year due to factors including a decline in copper prices.
  • Mining operation at the Hishikari Mine (Kagoshima Prefecture) remained steady, and the gold content in sold mineral ore remained at the same level as the previous fiscal year, at 6 tonnes, as planned.
  • Copper production volume at the Morenci Copper Mine (United States) exceeded the previous year’s level, mainly due to a high production level of cathode. Production volume at the Cerro Verde Copper Mine (Peru) declined year on year, due mainly to a drop in the grade of ore. Production volume at the Sierra Gorda Copper Mine (Chile) increased year on year, due mainly to increases in throughput and the grade of mineral ore.

Smelting & Refining Segment

Equipped with the world’s highest level of technologies, Sumitomo Metal Mining produces and markets metal materials of outstanding grade. In Japan the company has two bases, both in Ehime Prefecture: the Toyo Smelter & Refinery producing copper and the Niihama Nickel Refinery producing nickel. Overseas bases include Coral Bay Nickel Corporation and Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation, both in the Philippines.
Because smelting and refining operations have an impact on the environment, today the company is developing technologies targeted at further reducing CO₂ and other harmful emissions.

Overview of performance in FY2019

  • Segment income increased year on year mainly due to higher nickel and gold prices, despite lower copper prices, and gains on sale of land and buildings following the business withdrawal of Taihei Metal Industry Co., Ltd.
  • The production volume of electrolytic copper at the Toyo Smelter & Refinery (Ehime Prefecture) declined year on year due to scheduledperiodic furnace repairs.
  • In the nickel business, although production volume at Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (Philippines) was down year on year due to factors including equipment trouble, production volume at Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation (Philippines) was up year on year due to an improvement in operating conditions compared to the previous year. Production volume of electrolytic nickel at the Niihama Nickel Refinery (Ehime Prefecture) was up year on year. Production of nickel sulfate at the Harima Refinery (Hyogo Prefecture) reached a record high.

Materials Segment

Metals of all kinds, in the form of semiconductor materials and functional materials, are widely used for various purposes: copper for electrical circuitry, nickel powder for capacitors, and indium for liquid-crystal displays, to name a few. Sumitomo Metal Mining has been involved in the materials business since 1960. Today, applying technologies developed through the years, the company is processing metals into ever more advanced products meeting the latest needs of its customers.

Overview of performance in FY2019

For in-vehicle battery materials, we completed a 4,550-tonne lithium nickel-cobalt-aluminum oxide (NCA) production system at our Isoura Plant (Ehime Prefecture), where we have been investing in increasing production since FY 2017. Sales volume has increased since then as we continued full production on the back of increased demand. Sales of lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) have also increased. However, segment income decreased year on year due to factors including the negative impact of inventory evaluation, as well as a decline in sales volume of powder materials and customer inventory adjustments for crystal materials.


Inter-segment transactions take place, and the figures released by SMM for sales are total external sales with inter-segment transaction removed. Sales for each business and segment income show the amount prior to removal of inter-segment transaction.