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IMnI's 30th Annual Conference in Tokyo
New Outlooks, New Challenges

For the Program <click here>

The International Manganese Institute's Annual Conference, held in Tokyo, Japan, June 1 - 3, marked IMnI's 30th Anniversary. IMnI's nine Japanese members along with the Japan Ferroalloy Association hosted it.

This edition clearly demonstrated that the Manganese Industry is maturing as it tackled complex issues surrounding workers health and the environment, while also trying to map out new developments that would favorably impact growth. The two-day conference program, which attracted over 120 delegates, highlighted two themes: "New Uses for Manganese" and "Occupational Health, Safety & Environmental Issues".

In his welcome speech, Japan Ferroalloy Association Chairman and IMnI Vice-Chairman Keigo Takahashi said: "It is just thirty years since the IMnI was established - a significant milestone for us. We would like to try our best to develop further as an association which can cope with and contribute to the needs of the world."

Haruhiko Kuroda, who is Special Advisor to the Prime Minister's Cabinet and Former Vice-Minister of Finance for International Affairs, presented an in-depth analysis of the global economy, with an emphasis on China. He forecasted: "China has the ability to maintain sustainable growth at 7 - 8% over the next decade." He added that China's actual 10% growth rate attained in an overheated economy was not good for sustainable growth but he was counting on the Chinese Government to take appropriate cooling measures to ensure a soft landing.

Yasuo Watanabe of Japan's Technical Information Service, was generally optimistic as he forecasted how the world steel industry would evolve over the next six years. According to him, by 2010 world apparent steel consumption would reach 1.245 million MT, with China representing 413 million MT, or a third of world production. This was based on the assumption that Chinese steel production growth would fall back to 5% per annum after 2005, compared to the more than 20% per annum recorded between 2001 and 2003.

In the session devoted to New Uses for Manganese, Arcelor's Michel Babbit introduced the new automobile steels his company is currently developing that will require significantly higher levels of manganese. Arcelor projects that by 2009, 10 - 15% of the flat carbon steel production (that means 5 to 8 million MT of the 50 to 60 million MT consumed today) will shift to new multi-phase steels, with an average increase in Mn content of 1%.

Introducing the second half of the program, Catherine Tissot-Colle, IMnI's OHES Chairman and Eramet's VP for Environment & Industrial Risks, said the industry needed to produce sound scientific studies to defend its products, as governments all over the world were adopting increasingly stringent regulations.

The Manganese Health Research Program (MHRP), outlined by Christian Plazanet, who sits on the MHRP Steering Committee, is IMnI's answer to producing some of the research required to meet these new regulatory standards. This ambitious program ($1.4 million today and up to possibly $6 million next year), subsidized by the US Department of Defense but industry driven, is underwriting a number of critical studies to better understand the effects of Mn on human health.

Other papers of interest in the OHES module included "A Life Cycle Assessment Case Study in South Africa" by Jannie Cronje from Samancor, "Health and Environment: an Outward Looking Program for MMT" by Dr. Jerry Roper of Ethyl Corp, "Japanese Environmental Protection Regulations and Related Measures Taken by Nippon Denko" by Takayuki Nishi from Nippon Denko.

Market summaries for Mn Ore, Mn Alloys, EMD and EMM were also presented. Xie Xinmin, Chairman of the Chinese Ferroalloy Industry Association and President of Emei, gave an industry overview for China, spotlighting domestic demand for ore and alloys.

All presentations made at the Conference (using Power Point or Word format) are available on the Speeches page of the IMnI website. To access: <Click Here>

The conference ended with a technical tour to Nippon Steel's Kimitsu Works.

Next year's Annual Conference will be held at St. Andrews Bay Golf Resort, in St Andrews, Scotland, June 1st - 3rd. Technical tours to IMnI members' plants in Norway will be arranged around the conference.

 

IMnI General Assembly Elects New Chairman,
Executive Committee and Board Welcome New Members,
New Chairman for the Statistics Committee and EPD Division

At the International Manganese Institute's General Assembly held in Tokyo on Wednesday June 2nd, and on the advice of the Board, members unanimously elected John Raubenheimer, CEO of Samancor Manganese, as Chairman. He replaces Vincent Trelut, who is moving to Tokyo as Deputy Managing Director of Eramet International and Eramet's representative in Japan.

Ricardo Antunes, Senior Managing Director of Rio Doce International (CVRD) was elected Vice-Chairman on the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee is now made up as follows:

John Raubenheimer (Samancor)
Keigo Takahashi (Nippon Denko)
Ricardo Antunes (CVRD)
Anne Tremblay (IMnI)

Chairman
Vice-Chairman
Vice-Chairman
Secretary General

New Board members are Arnaud Tissidre, Vice President Commercial, Ore & Alloys, Eramet-Comilog and Xie Xinmin, President of Emei Chuantou Ferroalloys Group.

Board membership is now:

John Raubenheimer (Samancor)
Leif Andreassen (Tinfos)
Ricardo Antunes (Rio Doce Int. - CVRD)
Michael Kiernan (Consolidated Minerals)
John Lewis (Ore & Metal)
Javier de Penaranda (Ferroatlantica)
Keith Saffy (Manganese Metal Co.)
Keigo Takahashi (Nippon Denko)
Arnaud Tissidre (Eramet -Comilog)
Xie Xinmin (Emei Chuantou Ferroalloys Group)

Chairman
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member

In addition:

Dalena Norden (BHP Billiton) was elected Chairperson of the Statistics Committee replacing Juan Bosco Alavarez (Minera Autlan).

Keith Saffy (Manganese Metal Company - MMC) was elected Electrolytic Products Division (EPD) Chairman, replacing Masatoshi Yoshida (Tosoh) whose term had expired. The new Vice-Chairman is Ryuichiro Yokotsuka from Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co.

The other Committee Chairmen are:

Catherine Tissot-Colle (Eramet), who was elected Chairperson of the Occupational Health, Environment and Safety (OHES) Committee last fall.

Greg Forbes (former BHP Billiton and now IMnI), Marketing & Communications Committee Chairman.

And Charles Rezende (CVRD) stays on as Treasurer.