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Opaque Mineral Supply Chains and Bank’s Responsibility

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Japan - Recently, we have a lot of electronic equipment around us. The phenomenon of “I can't give up on my smartphone” is no longer confined to urban people, and it is becoming noticeable that everyone is watching the smartphone anywhere in the world. Not only that, but in developed countries like Japan in particular, we operate living using electronic devices in cooking, laundry and transportation. All those electronic devices are made using some kind of metal. As long as the basic property of "conducting electricity" is the feature of metal, electronic devices and metals are naturally inseparable. In particular, metals that have received particular attention in recent years are required to have special functions such as rare metals. For example, SAW filters made by using tantalum (Ta), which is excellent in piezoelectricity, are widely used as a type of filter that suppresses interference waves from mobile phones and enhances call quality. It is one of the key devices for reducing the size and thickness of mobile phones and smartphones, and improving call quality. Lithium ion batteries, which are also used in personal computers, hybrid vehicles, and electric vehicles, have higher volumetric energy density and weight energy density than other secondary batteries (those that can be used repeatedly by charging). Is an excellent battery. There are several types such as cobalt-based lithium batteries and nickel-based lithium batteries, but all of them are realized by using special metals having suitable mineral characteristics. For this reason, securing a stable mineral procurement route for essential minerals which can not be easily substituted for electronic equipment manufacturers is essential for commercialization of products. In other words, it is essential for electronic equipment manufacturers to reduce the supply chain from production areas such as mines to products, and at the same time, as a responsible company, monitor that no problems occur in the supply chain.

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