12th Rare Earth Summit

May 27-28, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

11th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 20-21, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

9th Magnesium Summit

April 15-16, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

13th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 25-26, 2021
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

7th World Antimony Forum

June 13-14, 2019
Changsha, Hunan, China

7th Refractory & Abrasive Materials Summit 2019

May 23-24, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

10th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 16-17, 2019
Zhengzhou, Henan, China

11th Rare Earth Summit

May 9-10, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

8th Magnesium Summit

April 11-12, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

12th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 14-15, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

6th World Manganese & Selenium Forum

May 21-22, 2018
Hainan Sanya, China
Jiang Kunlin: Demand from end users shows softening tendencies, tantalum metal market in H2 to remain quiet
----Interview with Jiang Kunlin, Director of Changsha South Tantalum Niobium Co., Ltd.
Set up in 1998, Changsha South Tantalum Niobium Co., Ltd. is a specialist company focusing on the manufacture design, development and sales of tantalum, niobium and zirconium products. The company is located in Changsha Hi-tech Development Zone, which covers an area of 30mu. It is one of the major tantalum metal producers in China.

Asian Metal: Mr Jiang, thanks for accepting this interview. First, please give us an introduction to recent developments at your company.

Jiang: We are a tantalum and niobium manufacturer which has a history going back nearly 20 years. Our products are sold to many countries and territories around the world. The company’s total production capacity for tantalum and niobium metal can reach 100t. Right now we are producing 7-8tpm of niobium metal and 20tpm of tantalum materials.

Asian Metal: What is your position in the tantalum industry?

Jiang: We focus on deep processing of tantalum and niobium metal and have independent import and export rights. The main products are all kinds of tantalum and niobium bars, ingots, wires, rods, flakes and targets. Our clients come from many fields, such as aerospace, the military, spinning, medical machinery, chemicals, metallurgy, environmental production and machine manufacturing.

Asian Metal: Prices for tantalum concentrate and oxide have been on the decline in H1. What do you think is the main reason for this?

Jiang: As demand from downstream industry remains sluggish, tantalum prices are decreasing all the time. Suppliers have had to lower their offers to promote sales, so prices are showing a downtrend.

Asian Metal: What are the advantages of recycling tantalum scraps? How much will it save compared with traditional methods?

Jiang: The main advantage is in production costs. When the tantalum metal market was booming over the past two or three years, it saved at least RMB300,000-400,0000 on production costs compared with normal. Even with the market becoming weaker in recent times, profits have been in the region of RMB200,000. At the same time, we have obtained a national patent for recycling tantalum scraps, which has reduced our production costs and turned waste into useful materials.

Asian Metal: Which type of tantalum scrap is better? As many tantalum downstream plants are running with low operating rates, will the supply of tantalum scraps become tighter in the near term?

Jiang: We mainly purchase waste tantalum wire, waste tantalum powder and waste tantalum capacitors, which have a tantalum purity of 99.9%, 99% and 70%. We prefer to purchase waste tantalum wire, as its recycling rate is higher, at 95-96%. Our purchasing volume for this material will be 2-3tpy. As for waste tantalum powder, the supply is small and our purchasing quantity may be less than 500kgpy. Waste tantalum capacitors produce a number of harmful elements, so the environmental production cost is high; in addition, the recycling rate is only 65-66%. As a result, we won’t be purchasing many waste tantalum capacitors as raw materials in the near future. Supply of tantalum scraps is tight in the spot market. However, as tantalum oxide prices are on the decline, we will increase our consumption of tantalum oxide and predict the purchase volume to be one tonne per month.

Asian Metal: What is your opinion on the oversupply in the tantalum and niobium market? Any plans to expand the market?

Jiang: As the Chinese government is paying more attention to environmental issues, most tantalum and niobium smelters will face growing pressure and their production costs will increase further. Some small plants will stop production and the tantalum market will face a reshuffle. We will try to make deals with major foreign consumers, rather than domestic buyers, in the future and we’ll pay more attention to the quality of our products, controlling production costs and expanding the export market.

Asian Metal: What are your thoughts on the tantalum metal market following the summer holiday? Do you think the market will get better in H2?

Jiang: I don’t think the market will rebound in the near term. As supply exceeds demand, prices for tantalum and niobium materials are on the decrease. At the same time, raw material prices are still showing a downtrend and consumers are further delaying purchases. I predict that the tantalum metal market will remain quiet in H2.

Asian Metal: Thank you very much Mr Jiang, we wish your company a better future.