Toyota Tsusho takes 33% of Australian silica sand miner

Toyota Tsusho Corp. said 12 February 2009 that it has acquired a 33% stake in Kemerton Silica Sand Pty., an Australian miner and processor of silica sand for glass.
The general trading company, which…

Toyota Tsusho Corp. said 12 February 2009 that it has acquired a 33% stake in Kemerton Silica Sand Pty., an Australian miner and processor of silica sand for glass. The general trading company, which is affiliated with Toyota Motor Corp., probably spent a few hundred million Japanese yen to purchase the interest in Kemerton, which was wholly owned by Tochu Corp. Toyota Tsusho also purchased distribution rights to all the silica sand produced by Kemerton and will sell the material in Japan through Tochu. The move will double Toyota Tsusho“s sales of silica sand to 600,000 tons a year, as well as double its position in the domestic market for imports to 40%, moving closer to number one firm Mitsubishi Corp. Japanese demand for silica sand totals 4.5 million tons a year, with imports accounting for 1.5 million tons of that, said Toyota Tsusho. Anticipating growing glass demand for such applications as solar cell substrates, the company aims to use its stake in Kemerton to lift silica sand sales to 1 million tons by fiscal 2012.