JX Nippon Mining aims to double profit at its electronic materials unit

TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) -

* Japan’s JX Nippon Mining & Metals, a unit of JXTG Holdings Inc , said on Tuesday that it aims to double the operating profit of its electronic materials business sometime during the 2020s from a planned profit of 35 billion yen ($314 million) during the fiscal year to March 2019.

* Its electronic materials business accounts for about half of JX Nippon Mining’s total profit which is projected at 65 billion yen for the current year.

* JX Nippon Mining President Shigeru Oi said the company wants to expand sales of its existing products such as sputtering targets used in semiconductors and treated rolled copper foils used in smartphones, while creating new value-added products.

* The company, which is also a copper miner and Japan’s biggest copper smelter, may consider taking a stake in rare metals mines for which demand is expected to grow, such as tantalum and niobium, Oi said.

$1 = 111.4600 yen Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Christian Schmollinger