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Company Overview
NV Umicore SA, with head office in Brussels, Belgium, is a leading, global application oriented metals and materials group. The group produces and markets metal powders, compounds, and materials. The historical roots of Umicore go back more than 200 years and the group in its current form is the result of the coming together of a number of mining and smelting companies which gradually evolved into a materials-technology company.
Umicore’s activities are centered on four business areas: Advanced Materials, Precious Metals Products and Catalysts, Precious Metals Services, and Zinc Specialties.
The Advanced Materials business is a global supplier of high-purity metals, alloys, compounds and engineered products for a wide range of applications. It is the world leader in cobalt fine powders and compounds and germanium products. Advanced Materials serves a variety of market sectors from the more traditional -such as hard metals tooling industry- to the most hi-tech, including the rechargeable battery, micro-electronics sector and infrared optics market.
The Precious Metals Products and Catalysts business produces a range of complex functional materials based on its expertise in complementary technology platforms such as catalysis and surface technology. Its activities serve a wide range of industries including automotive, jewellery, electronics, pharmaceutical and optics.
The Precious Metals Services business is the world market leader in recycling complex materials containing precious metals, serving an international customer base. Precious Metals Services recycles and refines precious metals and other non-ferrous metals from a wide range of complex industrial intermediate materials and precious metals-bearing scrap from electronic and catalytic applications.
The Zinc Specialties business has a unique profile within the zinc industry. It is downstream integrated and focuses on the development of zinc-based materials including chemicals, alloys and building materials for a wide variety of applications.
The Umicore group is established in several countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa.
Business Summary
The Company is specialized in in the production and transformation of non-ferrous metals.
Net sales break down by activity as follows:
– recycling and processing of precious metals (45.4%);
– manufacturing catalysts and products based on precious metals (28.4%): catalysts for automobiles, platinum-based molded materials, solder pastes, electronic connection materials, rhodium-based electrolytes, decorative coatings, etc.;
– manufacturing of zinc products (18.8%): fine zinc powders, zinc alloys, zinc oxides, zinc building materials, etc.;
– high-tech materials (6.9%): cobalt components, special powders for the hard metal and diamond tool markets, substrates for electroluminescent diodes, germanium blanks, etc.;
– other (0.5%).
Net sales are distributed geographically as follows: Europe (70.6%), Asia/Pacific (11.1%), North America (10.9%), Africa (4.2%) and Latin America (3.2%).
Description and history
The Company is specialized in in the production and transformation of non-ferrous metals.
1906: Belgium government sets up the Union Miniиre du Haut Katanga (UMHK) to exploit mineral deposits in the soon-to-become Belgian Congo.
1911: The Company begins casting copper, becoming a primary source of copper for Allied forces during World War I.
1918: The Company branches out into tin production.
1921: The Company begins gold and silver refining.
1922: The Company adds production of radium.
1924: The Company begins cobalt smelting operation.
1937: After the copper market collapses during the Depression, The Company adds zinc mining and production.
1942: The Company begins production of uranium.
1968: The Company’s Congo operations are nationalized by the Zaire government under the Mobutu dictatorship.
1970: The Company becomes a subsidiary of Belgian conglomerate Sociйtй Gйnerale, which groups all of its smelting and mining interests under reformed Union Miniиre.
1989: Union Miniиre is now known as Acec-Union Miniиre after merging with three other Belgian companies.
1992: The Company changes its name back to Union Miniиre.
1995: The Company undergoes far-reaching restructuring, selling off 12 divisions.
1998: Suez acquires Sociйtй Gйnйrale and announces its intention to spin off its holding in Union Miniиre.
2000: The Company becomes an independent, publicly listed company.
2001: The Company changes its name to Umicore in order to break its link to former colonial mining activity and to emphasize its new focus as a modern specialty metals producer.

Result of the coming together of a number of mining and smelting companies which gradually evolved into a materials-technology company

Business Line
Produces and markets metal powders, compounds, and materials
IPO date

Company Address
Broekstraat – Rue du Marais 31

City province or state postal code
Phone: +32 2 227 71 11
Fax: +32 2 227 79 00
Country address: BELGIUM
Website url: www.umicore.com