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

6th World Antimony Forum

April 23-24, 2018
Zhangjiajie, China

6th International Refractories & Abrasives Summit

April 19-20, 2018
Beijing, China
Tighter supply of gallium driven by restricted mining of bauxite
----Interview with Chen Feng
Deputy General Manager
Beijing JiYa Semiconductor Material Co., Ltd.
Founded in December 1999 with a registered capital of USD6.7 million, Beijing JiYa Semiconductor Material Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as JiYa) is a joint venture co-established by AXT Inc., Consco Group, Hong Kong and CHALCO Shanxi Company. Registered in Changping Park of Zhongguancun Hi-tech Park, Beijing, the company headquarters in Beijing and locates its production plant in Shanxi aluminum plant, Hejin, Shanxi.

Asian Metal: Thank you for accepting our interview. Please give us a brief introduction of your company.

Mr. Chen: Founded in December 1999, Beijing JiYa Semiconductor Material Co., Ltd. is a joint venture co-established by CHALCO Shanxi Company, AXT Inc. and Consco Group, Hong Kong.
We mainly extract 4N gallium metal from spent liquor that is used to produce alumina. Our output of gallium metal has increased to 60tpy from 20tpy in early days, which enables our company to become one of the large-scaled professional producers of gallium metal both domestically and overseas.

Asian Metal: Thanks for your introduction to JiYa. Could you share us with your own work experience?

Mr. Chen: I worked in the field of air traffic control for 17 years after graduating from university in 1975 and joined Consco Group, Hong Kong in 1993. In 1998, as a representative of shareholders, I participated in the preparation and establishment of JiYa and then acted as Deputy General Manager, General Manager and Consultant of the company. In 2019, I was appointed as the Deputy General Manager being in charge of sales by Board of Directors.

Asian Metal: It’s learnt that JiYa is less active in gallium metal market in recent two years. Could you tell us your key tasks during this period?

Mr. Chen: We adopt strategic production and sales mode. To be serious, we don’t have sales plan at present for following reasons:
a) Market price is lower than production cost as oversupply results in vicious competition;
b) Supply of gallium declines gradually as domestic bauxite dries up and imported bauxite with lower content of gallium is adopted as the substitute;
c) In order to prevent a large drain of national resources, we should not sell gallium that is produced by going by strict environmental protection requirements and consuming lots of manpower at low prices;
d) China owns 95% of the world’s gallium, which is another essential resource of global hi-tech industry besides rare earth.
In response to unilateralism and protectionism in the world, as the first producer co-founded by CHALCO and JiYa, we appeal to all producers to unite and make contributions to our country.

Asian Metal: When will JiYa formally return to gallium metal market?

Mr. Chen: Actually JiYa has never left the gallium metal market. We just made fewer appearances and had much less communication with other gallium companies.
As mentioned earlier, our new management team will try to overcome all negative factors and march forward under the leadership of the new board.

Asian Metal: As far as we know, mining restrictions on domestic bauxite will further reduce the supply of gallium in Chinese market. What’s your opinion on this matter?

Mr. Chen: Production capacity of alumina in China reaches 80 million tons in recent years while supply of domestic bauxite gets tighter. As domestic bauxite with higher gallium content has been gradually replaced by imported bauxite, many gallium metal producers get into unprecedented trouble. Supply of imported bauxite rises dramatically and the content of gallium metal in imported material is without commercial value, so gallium metal producers will absolutely suffer setbacks in production process and technology.
That is why production cost of gallium metal is higher than market price. The world economic situation is uncertain as the Sino-U.S. trade friction hasn’t come to an end yet. As the only major producer and supplier of gallium metal in the world, China has no ground to sell gallium metal, the rare and precious material that is produced by going by strict environmental protection requirements, paying heavy taxes and consuming lots of manpower at low prices.
In conclusion, the output of primary gallium will certainly decrease substantially as the supply of domestic bauxite gets tighter. After the stocks are run out, the market would see balanced supply and demand once again.

Asian Metal: Please give us a brief introduction of the distribution of gallium metal downstream consumers. In the coming three years, which sectors would see stronger demand for gallium metal?

Mr. Chen: JiYa was invited for many times in the past decade to make simple analysis on gallium metal industry at both domestic and overseas industry meetings. Based on latest statistics, the world’s production capacity (including recycling) of gallium metal is about 800t, the output (including recycling) is about 550t and the consumption volume is about 450t. Main application fields include high-performance magnets, MO sources, liquid metals and high purity compound semiconductors, including GaAs, GaN, gallium nitrate and CIGS.
In terms of new materials, green energies and environmental protection, all the abovementioned areas are highlights. The industry that owns mature technologies would have stronger demand for gallium metal.

Asian Metal: What’s your core competitiveness in gallium metal field? What’s your future plan for the next three years?

Mr. Chen: JiYa is always down-to-earth to do business and it will continue to be quality and customer oriented. On how to develop scarce gallium metal and produce and apply this strategic minor metal, we will work hard and make contributions to our country.