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Vale Japan Limited Matsusaka Refinery has been supplying nickel to japanese customers since 1967. Through the production capacity expansions in 1997 and 2014, the refinery became one of the largest producers of nickel oxide sinter (NOS) in Asia. Not only does it supply NOS to customers in Japan, but also to Vale’s affiliated refinery in UK and customers on the globe.

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Matsusaka Refinery boasts its annual production capacity of 66,000 tons, which is the largest in Japan. Its production process requires very little energy, resulted from continuous kaizen efforts and accumulated improvements on processes and facilities. Most of the processes are automated, which guarantees high productivity and enables several operators to operate the whole production facilities.

The refinery adopted, for the first time in the country, a fluidized-bed roaster with technical assistance from Canada. Based on the technique, the refinery invented the fluidized reduction process to produce reduced NOS, TONIMET. Briquetted TONIMET – very popular with domestic customers due to its handiness and high quality.


The refinery is located in Matsusaka City, Mie Prefecture, which is a wonderful region with a natural environment blessed with a mild climate. The refinery has taken environmental measures to protect this beautiful nature and has been engaged in sustainability since initial stages. As a proof of the efforts mentioned above, lots of fishes and carps could be seen swimming in the waterways adjacent to the refinery.

Our efforts are not limited to environment protection and sustainability. We have spent a lot of time and effort to create a safe working environment and maintain the health of our employees. National government has granted to Matsusaka Refinery a commendation given high praise to occupational safety and health measures in 1998.