Sumitomo Metal Mining is Japanese mining company specialising in non-ferrous metals. It is part of the Sumitomo keiretsu.
In 1590, one of the founders of the Sumitomo Group, Riemon Soga, began smelting copper in Kyoto. He invented the technology of separating silver from copper.
In 1691, development of copper mines began near Niihama, Ehime Prefecture.
In 1905, a copper smelting plant was commissioned on Shisaka Island.
In 1927, Sumitomo Joint-stock Company and Besshi Mining Company merged to form Sumitomo Besshi Mining Co., Ltd. In 1937, Sumitomo Besshi Mining Co. Sumitomo Coal Mining Co., Ltd. was merged to form Sumitomo Mining Co., Ltd.
In 1939, the company's copper smelter was equipped with purification units that solved the emission problem. In the same year, nickel production was also established.
In 1946, the company name was changed to Seika Kogyo (Mining) Co., Ltd. In 1950, the mining and metallurgical division of the company was spun off into a separate entity, the Besshi Mining Co., Ltd., whose name was changed to Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. in 1950.
In 1954, the company becomes a part of Taihei Metal Industry Co., Ltd., which significantly increases its nickel production.
In 1956, with the establishment of Hyuga Smelting Co., Ltd. In March 1957, Asakawa Industrial Co., Ltd. was established to manufacture molybdenum disulphide-based lubricants (in 1962, the company was renamed Sumico Lubricant Co., Ltd.).
In 1960, Tokyo Electronic Metal Co., Ltd. was established to produce germanium dioxide. In 1965, the Central Research and Development Laboratory is established.
1971 A copper smelter is commissioned in Toyo.
In 1982, a gold deposit was discovered near Hisikari. Estimated reserves of 120 tons of gold. Development of the deposit already commenced in 1983.
In 1986, Sumitomo Metal Mining together with Sumitomo Corporation invested in a copper mining project in Arizona. The American partner was Phelps Dodge Corporation.
In 1988, the company enters the capital of International Nickel Indonesia.
By 1997, 83 tonnes of gold had been produced at Hisikari. This made it the largest deposit in Japan.
In 2004 it was decided to commence copper mining in Peru. In 2005, the company begins exploiting copper ores in Chile.