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Nippon Steel, Sumitomo to Boost Stakes in Mitsui Mining

Tokyo, Feb 22, 2008 (Jiji Press) - Nippon Steel Corp. <5401> and Sumitomo Corp. <8053> will boost their stakes in Mitsui Mining Co. <3315>, the three companies said Friday.

The top Japanese steelmaker and the trading house will acquire 20 million preferred shares each in Mitsui Mining from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., a unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. <8316>, in a deal valued at 13.5 billion yen.

Nippon Steel and trader Sumitomo will convert the preferred shares into common stock as early as April next year to raise their respective stakes in Mitsui Mining to 21.7 pct from 12.9 pct.

Nippon Steel hopes to enhance ties with Mitsui Mining in order to secure stable sources of materials supply as it buys one million tons of coke from Mitsui Mining per year.

Trader Sumitomo supports Mitsui Mining in coal supply and sale operations.

Mitsui Mining, which once received support from Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan, now focuses on the production of coke to fuel growth.

By Jiji Press, (c) Jiji Press

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