History

Reforming and expanding businesses in response to changes of the times

Established as a mining and smelting company, DOWA has been supporting Japan’s economic growth associated with its modernization in the field of non-ferrous metals. It has kept growing by expanding its businesses into new fields that can take advantage of its technologies and experiences.

The company was founded with the purchase of a mine from the government and a basis was built for its mining and smelting business.

The company was established as a non-ferrous metal mining and smelting company through the purchase from the Meiji government of the Kosaka mine in Akita, which was Japan’s leading silver mine in those days. The company ran into financial difficulty about a dozen years after it was established due to the depletion of silver ore reserves and a sharp fall in the price of silver. However, it succeeded in developing a technology for refining a complex sulfide ore called black ore, which enabled the company to revive itself as a copper mine. Moreover, in Okayama, the company was involved in a land reclamation project in Kojima Bay and created 1,800 hectares of farmland.

1907: Roaster in Kosaka mine<br/>(now KOSAKA SMELTING & REFINING)
拡大
1907: Roaster in Kosaka mine
(now KOSAKA SMELTING & REFINING)

 Changes at DOWA

1884
The Meiji government sells the Kosaka mine to Fujita Gumi, the forerunner to DOWA

 

1898
Fujita Gumi commences operation of pyrometallurgy for black ore in Kosaka

 

1899
Fujita Gumi begins a land reclamation project in Kojima Bay in Okayama

 

1902
Fujita Gumi beings operation of black ore flash smelting in Kosaka

 

1915
Fujita Gumi acquires the Hanaoka mine in Akita

 

1916
Fujita Gumi acquires the Yanahara mine in Okayama

 Changes in the world

1883
Tokyo Dento Company is established as Japan’s first electric power company

 

1889
The Constitution of the Empire of Japan is promulgated

 

1901
Yawata Steel Works is opened

 

1914
World War Ⅰ breaks out

 

1941
The Pacific War breaks out

 

DOWA expands its businesses with a focus on domestic mines, given the postwar reconstruction and growth of demand for basic materials.

When the war ended, the company reestablished itself by changing its corporate name to DOWA MINING CO., LTD.* Later, the fertilizer industry boomed reflecting the expansion of farming production during postwar reconstruction. DOWA, which held the largest iron sulfide mine in Japan, responded to this boom by expanding its production of iron sulfide ore as the raw material for sulfuric acid in fertilizers. In addition, in the high-growth period of the Japanese economy, when the demand for basic materials increased due to rapid industrialization, DOWA discovered new black ore deposits one after another in Akita and steadily expanded its mining and smelting business.

*The name “DOWA” originates from wachukyodo, which means working together in the same spirit.

Around 1960: Okayama Works<br/>(now DOWA ELECTRONICS MATERIALS OKAYAMA)
拡大
Around 1960: Okayama Works
(now DOWA ELECTRONICS MATERIALS OKAYAMA)

 Changes at DOWA

1945
Corporate name changed to DOWA MINING CO., LTD.

 

1953
DOWA MINING establishes Okayama Works (now DOWA ELECTRONICS MATERIALS OKAYAMA), increases production of sulfuric acid and other products

 

1957
DOWA MINING acquires the Toyosaki Plant Co., Ltd., commences the Metal Processing business in Osaka

 

1958
DOWA MINING acquires Tokyo Heat Treatment Co., Ltd. (now DOWA THERMOTECH), starts its Heat Treatment business

 

1959
New black ore deposits are discovered in Kosaka

 

1967
The Kosaka Plant is completely equipped with new flash furnace and commences operation

 Changes in the world

1945
End of the Pacific War

 

1949
The exchange rate is fixed at 360 yen/US dollar

 

1953
Trading resumes at the London Metal Exchange (LME)

 

1956
UN General Assembly admits Japan to the United Nations

 

1960
The Japanese government announces an income-doubling plan

 

1964
The Shinkansen begins service between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka

 

DOWA expands its businesses from the mainstay mining and smelting business in response to dramatic changes in the business environment, including the shift to the floating exchange rate system.

The high-growth period was over and the business environment of DOWA changed dramatically due to the oil crisis and appreciation of the yen, which resulted from the shift to the floating exchange rate system. Above all, the domestic mining business was greatly damaged by these changes because metal prices declined significantly due to the appreciation of the yen. At the turning point of the mining business, which had been the mainstay business, DOWA took measures for expanding its businesses further to downstream sectors, looked for new businesses, and started to do business overseas, in addition to improving competitiveness of its smelting and processing businesses.

Around 1980: Toyooka plant<br/>(now DOWA METAL)
拡大
Around 1980: Toyooka plant
(now DOWA METAL)

 Changes to DOWA

1971
AKITA ZINC is established to operate a seaside zinc smelter

 

1975
DOWA Metal Industries Toyooka Plant is completed (now DOWA METAL)

 

1977
OKAYAMA KOYU, a waste treatment company, is established, commences the Environmental Management and Recycling business

 

1982
Semiconductor Materials Laboratory (now DOWA SEMICONDUCTOR AKITA) is established

 

1990
Uchinotai mine in Kosaka is closed

 

1991
Platinum metal recycling starts in Akita (NIPPON PGM is established)

 

1997
Heat Treatment business starts in the United States (DOWA THT AMERICA is established)

 Changes in the world

1973
The floating exchange rate system is adopted. Oil crisis occurs

 

1978
The value of the yen increases rapidly to less than 180 yen/dollar. One after another, metal mines in Japan are closed.

 

1980
China creates special economic zones under its policy of opening the country to foreign businesses

 

1982
The concept of the internet is advocated

 

1985
Plaza Accord is announced, resulting in the rapid appreciation of the yen

 

1989
The end of the Cold War is announced

 

1999
The Euro is introduced as the unified currency of Europe

 

Given the progress in the globalization of the economy, DOWA improves its competitiveness and achieves stable growth by concentrating its management resources on its core businesses.

Against the backdrop of changes in the world situation such as the end of the Cold War and the rapid development of information and communications technologies, the globalization of economic activities were promoted and corporate activities went through major changes including the transfer overseas of production bases. DOWA has positioned five of its business divisions as the core of its business and has been concentrating its management resources on those divisions, thereby improving its competitiveness. At the same time, DOWA has been expanding its business areas in Japan and overseas.

2008: The furnace for combined recycling at KOSAKA SMELTING & REFINING
拡大
2008: The furnace for combined recycling at KOSAKA SMELTING & REFINING

 Changes to DOWA

2000
DOWA positions five business divisions as its core and starts structural business reform

 

2006
DOWA switches to a holding company system, the corporate name is changed to DOWA HOLDINGS CO., LTD., and the head office is relocated

 

2008
At KOSAKA SMELTING & REFINING, full operation of the furnace for combined recycling commences

 

2009
DOWA expands Environmental Management & Recycling business to Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore)

 

2011
DOWA expands Heat Treatment business to India (DOWA acquires HIGHTEMP FURNACES)

 Changes in the world

2001
The September 11th attacks take place in the United States

 

2005
Japan records negative population growth for the first time since World War Ⅱ

 

2007
The iPhone is released

 

2008
The collapse of Lehman takes place, the ASEAN Charter comes into force

 

2010
The total number of automobiles produced in five ASEAN countries exceeds three million

 

2013
Automobile sales in the world exceeds 80 million vehicles