The historical roots of Umicore go back more than 200 years. The Group in its current form is the result of the coming together of a number of mining and smelting companies which gradually evolved into the materials-technology company Umicore is today.


Umicore Precious Metals Refining

1887 - Start of a lead de-silvering operation in Hoboken

1919 - Société Générale Métallurgique de Hoboken becomes an integrated lead smelter

1945 - Development into a complex lead/copper smelter

1975 - Major investments to reduce environmental impact

1985 - Investment program to increase refining capacities for precious metals

1995 -1998 - Investment program to re-engineer the complete metallurgical flowsheet, including the commissioning of the new smelter and a new silver and gold refinery, accompanied by a substantial capacity increase for platinum group metals. Through the development and implementation of this state-of-the-art technology, Umicore Precious Metals Refining consolidated its position as the world's leading precious metals refiner.

1999 - Commissioning of new equipment for dedicated sampling of catalysts and electronic scrap

2000 - Start of the site rehabilitation project

2001 - Building of a new leaching and electrowinning plant in Hoboken

2003 - Integration Precious Metals Group (PMG)

2010 - Building of a new rechargeable battery recycling plant in Hoboken