News Release


June 7, 2018

JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation

Capital Participation in Material Concept, Inc.

Investment in copper paste business for solar panels and electronic equipment

JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation (President: Shigeru Oi; “the Company”) on June 6 acquired 21.2% of shares in Material Concept, Inc., a Tohoku University spin-off venture centering on copper paste, for use mainly in solar panel photovoltaic cells and electronic equipment.

Material Concept was founded to achieve the goals of Tohoku University Professor Junichi Koike, who set out to support recovery from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake by promoting extensive deployment of solar panels at low cost. The company has been working on the development of copper paste with support from several organizations including Innovation Network Corporation of Japan. Up to now, silver paste, with silver as the main material, has been used for the wiring, electrodes and other parts of photovoltaic cells, electronic equipment and other electronic devices. Product development has long been under way toward replacing silver with copper paste, given the lower cost and more stable supply of copper, its main ingredient. Revolutionary copper paste technology has now been established, achieving the same conductivity as silver paste. As this technology reaches practical implementation, a substantial reduction in material cost is expected. With this in view, the Company decided to participate in the venture and to aim for full-scale mass production and commercialization.

Building on the copper paste technology development strength of Material Concept, and taking advantage of the JX Nippon Mining & Metals Group mass production ability, quality assurance system, and sales and marketing network, the Company plans to support Material Concept in promoting the use of copper paste as an alternative to silver, not only in solar panels but in a wide range of fields including semiconductors and electronic equipment, so as to meet increasingly advanced material supply needs.

(For Reference) Overview of Material Concept (as of June 6, 2018)

Name Material Concept, Inc.
Location Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture
Representative Miho Koike, President and CEO
Operations Technology development and manufacture of copper paste for use in electronic equipment and photovoltaic cells, etc.
Shareholders Miho Koike, Junichi Koike, JX Nippon Mining & Metals, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, Fidele Partners Inc., Daiwa Corporate Investment Co., Ltd.
Established April 2013