Heraeus' US$120m plant to reduce China's reliance on imports of precious metals

The German group's most advanced precious metals processing plant in Nanjing will quintuple the firm's recycling capacity and triple its supply of precious metals. 

Heraeus’ most advanced precious metals processing plant in Nanjing will recycle and refine precious metals and help China to reduce its reliance on imports of the metals, the German company said yesterday.

The US$120 million 84,000 square meter plant, equivalent to almost 12 football fields, will quintuple the company’s recycling capacity and triple its supply of precious metals, easing their insufficient supply in the Chinese market. The demand for precious metals in China is 25 times the supply now, according to Heraeus.

As China has to depend on imports to meet the demand for precious metals, the new plant will lower its dependency on imports of such metals, Heraeus said of its biggest investment in the country.

“Now the production of precious metals in South Africa is decreasing, and the global supply will be affected, which means the price of precious metals is uncertain,” said Andre Christl, president of Heraeus Precious Metals.

So to recycle and refine precious metals and put them in the Chinese market is significant to China, Christl added.

The recycling and reproduction of precious metals will become more important in the future as the energy consumption and emission of carbon dioxide is lower than the exploitation of precious metals, Heraeus said.

Precious metals such as the platinum group of metals are widely used in the automotive, electronics, petrochemicals and pharmaceutical industries.

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