Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining (SMM) has unveiled plans to restructure its business and will now concentrate its operations on recycled zinc oxide ore, starting from 1 April 2012.

SMM will terminate the processing of zinc and lead concentrates, which are imported into Japan as raw material.

Currently, SMM produces prime western-grade zinc and electrolytic lead through imported zinc and lead concentrates at its Haima Smelter.

The company said it has achieved technological capacity to conduct operations on recycled zinc oxide, which offers advantages over concentrates in terms of procurement.

SMM will continue to produce western-grade zinc from recycled zinc oxide ore and is also considering the processing of nickel sulphate at the Haima Smelter.