Change in Ownership Interest in Vale New Caledonia Nickel Cobalt Project

Oct. 25, 2012

Mitsui & Co., Ltd
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd.

Main Contents

Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui") (Head Office: Tokyo, Japan, President and CEO: Masami Iijima) and Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. ("SMM") (Head Office: Tokyo, Japan, President and CEO: Nobumasa Kemori) decided not to undertake additional investment in the Vale New Caledonia ("VNC") Nickel Cobalt Project in New Caledonia ("VNC Project") at this time to cover repair work outlays arisen primarily from equipment troubles. The VNC Project is being carried out jointly by Mitsui, SMM, and a major Canadian nickel producer, Vale Canada Limited ("Vale Canada") (Head Office: Toronto, Canada). As a result of this decision,Mitsui and SMM's collective ownership interest in Vale Nouvelle-Calédonie S.A.S. ("VNC S.A.S.") (Head Office: Paris, France), the VNC Project operating company, will be diluted from 21% to 14.5%.

The equipment trouble took place during the project's test operation phase, and it put the launch of full-scale production at VNC Project behind schedule. The necessary repair work has now been completed and production is scheduled to get under way in earnest by year's end. The repair and improvement costs stemming from the equipment problems were quite substantial, however, Mitsui and SMM had discussion with Vale Canada how to allocate unplanned repair and improvement costs. Those discussions led to an agreement with Vale Canada under which Mitsui and SMM will not bear the project costs in excess of US$4.6 billion. The agreement includes an option to recover Mitsui and SMM 's collective ownership interest in VNC S.A.S. to 21%, subject to future condition of operation at VNC Project.

Earlier, Mitsui and SMM jointly set up a company, Sumic Nickel Netherlands b.v. (Sumic) (Head Office: Amsterdam), to carry out their investments in VNC Project. As a result of their newly reached agreement with Vale Canada, Sumic's ownership interest in VNC S.A.S. will be diluted to 14.5%. At that level, VNC S.A.S. will no longer qualify as an equity-method affiliated company of SMM. And Mitsui will reclassify VNC S.A.S., which it consolidates through Sumic by equity method, from associated company to other investment.

Mitsui and SMM' s reduced ownership interest will also result in their booking of profits/losses in or after the third quarter of the current fiscal year ending March 2012. What impact these profits/losses will have on both companies' consolidated earnings is currently under review.

The VNC Project is one of the world's largest nickel development projects employing high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) technology, and the volume of nickel resources to be developed under the project is also expected to be among the world's largest. Notwithstanding the impending reductions in their ownership interest Mitsui and SMM both intend to continue going forward with their participation in the project itself.

Profile of Vale Nouvelle-Calédonie S.A.S. (as of September 30, 2012)

1. Country of registration France (based in Paris)
2. President Ricardo Carvalho
3. Scope of business Production of nickel oxides
4. Shareholders Vale Canada Limited (74%), Sumic Nickel Netherlands b.v.* (21%), Société de Participation Minière du Sud Calédonien (SPMSC)** (5%)

*Sumic acquired 21% ownership interest of VNC S.A.S. on April 8, 2005
** A venture jointly established by New Caledonia's South Province (50%), North Province (25%) and Loyalty Islands Province (25%)

Profile of Sumic Nickel Netherlands b.v. (as of September 30, 2012)

1. Country of registration The Netherlands (based in Amsterdam)
2. President Naoyuki Tsuchida
3. Scope of business Investment into nickel/cobalt development projects and product sales
4.Shareholders Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. (52.38%), Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (47.62%)

This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Mitsui's current assumptions, expectations and beliefs in light of the information currently possessed by it and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause Mitsui's actual results, financial position or cash flows to be materially different from any future results, financial position or cash flows expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors referred to above include, but are not limited to, those contained in Mitsui's latest Annual Securities Report and Quarterly Securities Report, and Mitsui undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.
This announcement is published in order to publicly announce specific facts stated above, and does not constitute a solicitation of investments or any similar act inside or outside of Japan, regarding the shares, bonds or other securities issued by us.


For inquiries on this matter, please contact

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Investor Relations Division
Telephone: +81-3-3285-7910
Facsimile: +81-3-3285-9821
Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Corporate Communications Division
Noriko Okamoto
Telephone: +81-3-3285-6645
Facsimile: +81-3-3285-9819
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd.
Public Relations & Investor Relations Department
Masashi Takahashi
Telephone: +81-3-3436-7705
Facsimile: +81-3-3434-2215