14-Sep-2007 - Showa Denko K.K. (SDK)

Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) Opens Second Magnetic Alloy Plant in China

Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) opened its second rare-earth magnetic alloy plant in China. The plant, under construction since August 2006 and completed at Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, has the capacity to produce 2,000 tons per year of neodymium (Nd)-based alloys for high-performance magnets, using SDK's advanced quick-cooling technology. SDK is already operating another Nd-based magnetic alloy plant in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, China.

The new plant at Ganzhou is operated by Ganzhou Zhaori Rare Earth New Materials Co., Ltd., SDK's joint venture with Tokai Trade Co., Ltd. of Japan and two Chinese rare-earth mineral producers, namely, Ganzhou Qiandong Industrial (Group) Co., Ltd., and Ganxian Hong Jin Rare Earths Co., Ltd.

Nd-based high-performance magnets are being used in voice coil motors of hard disk drives, motors for hybrid cars, and electric power steering devices. For automotive magnet applications, it is necessary to add dysprosium (Dy) to ensure high magnetic force at high temperatures. While Dy is produced from ion-adsorption ores found only in southern Chinese provinces centering on Jiangxi, the two Chinese partners in Ganzhou Zhaori Rare Earth New Materials are leading rare-earth mineral producers, having ion-adsorption ore mines and operating separation/purification and smelting facilities. This partnership shall enable SDK to supply high-quality alloys in a stable manner in response to rapidly growing demand for Nd-based high-performance magnets.

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