Our service

Our message is quite simple: our aim is to return the best overall value to our customers, which includes monetary return, environmental performance, accuracy, transparency and correct business ethics. By doing so, we lay the foundation for a mutually beneficial long-term relationship.

By overall value we mean value in its broadest sense, as experienced by the customer, i.e. the combination of tangible features (such as accuracy and net monetary return) and intangible features (such as transparency, proximity, trust, business ethics, sustainability, strategic value, etc.).

Since we only settle on an assay-based formula, this incorporates:

  • state-of-the-art weighing, sampling and assaying
    Determining the actual (precious) metal content of a lot or shipment by statistically and analytically accurate means.
    When dealing with ceramic converters, this applies to the broken monolith or possibly prepared sweeps (broken honeycomb prepared to fine powder). When dealing with metallic converters, this applies to the washcoat fraction after shredding.

  • competitive refining terms
    These cover the various dimensions of the (contractual) cost for the (precious) metal recovery service:

    • Contractual metal credit, which means that a certain percentage of the (precious) metal content will be credited or paid for, e.g. a metal credit of 98%. The contractual metal credit finds its basis in process yields.

    • Contractual charges, which find their basis in process costs, such as:
      • refining charges, expressed as a unit charge per kg or troz of (precious) metal credited / paid for
      • base processing charges, expressed as a unit charge per kg or metric ton of material received and processed
      • lot charges, also called weighing-sampling-and-assaying charges, expressed per lot
      • possible other particular charges, such as decanning charges, shredding charges, etc

  • reasonable time of return
    The (precious) metals are credited / paid for after a precisely determined time, called the time of return. This is typically expressed as x days or weeks after a particular trigger date, which can be the date of arrival of material at the receiving works, the date of completion of the weighing and sampling operations, the date material is released for processing by the customer (if different from the date of completion of weighing and sampling). The time of return is based on the average time it takes to recover the (precious) metals from the main and side-streams of the metallurgical process.

  • hedging
    If a collector/pre-processor has paid for material, the pricing is a function of the estimated (precious) metal contents as well as the (precious) metal prices. Hence, it is important for the collector/pre-processor to be able to lock in the (precious) metal prices relating to future metal transactions in order to safeguard his estimated profit. In other words, hedging refers to agreeing on a sales price for a particular quantity of metal on a forward value date. For any more details or particular requirements, please contact us.

  • financing
    Depending on contractual agreements, partial or full financing of future proceeds can be arranged.

  • logistical assistance
    • All necessary certificates and permits available on request, e.g. certificate of environmentally sound recycling of a specific load.
    • Detailed declaration of weights and composition of materials received. Input/output balances as a basis for the calculation of recycling rates. Clear documentation of recovery processes and output streams.
    • Annual environmental report. Continuous measurement and documentation of environmental compliance with strict emission levels.

Even more importantly, all these services are backed by a company with:

  • tradition
    Umicore's Hoboken operations started in 1887. Services / technologies / best-practices such as sampling, assaying, smelting, refining and the like require a high level of expertise built on a long tradition and solid foundations.

  • financial strength
    Precious... and therefore also valuable. The value of the material entrusted by the customer to the precious metal refiner can reach the equivalent of millions of US$ or Euros. Umicore has a strong and healthy balance sheet. It is a publicly traded company, with shares listed on Euronext Brussels. Its international exposure, diversified shareholder base in addition to regular legal obligations require frequent financial reporting, updates, communications and, as such, transparency.

  • business integrity
    The high value of precious metals (or precious metal containing scrap) unfortunately also attracts less ethical practices. Umicore has hence set the highest standards for itself in dealing with its customers. Weighing and sampling operations can be witnessed, sampling and assaying procedures are openly discussed, internal procedures are audited, and a formal code of conduct is strictly adhered to. Trust is a must for a fruitful long-term business relationship and, of course, has to be earned.

  • environmental stewardship
    Complying with all local environmental regulations, applying best-available technologies, certification along ISO14000 and other international standards, providing customer support on all obligations relating to transfrontier shipment of waste, medium term and long term environmental objectives, environmental reporting, continuous efforts towards sustainable development... Umicore takes the environment seriously.