Strategically important metals - Science and Technology Committee Contents

Written evidence submitted by Anthony Lipmann, Managing Director, Lipmann Walton and Co Ltd and former Chairman, Minor Metals Trade Association (SIM 20b)

16 FEBRUARY 2011

I attach a small number of corrections to my oral evidence.


In the heat of the moment I quoted an incorrect figure for the cost of a letter of access for the permission to import Titanium into Europe under EU Chemical Directive (Reach) legislation. The law works per substance and the cost of these letters of access vary according to (a) the original cost of compliance and testing of the substance divided by the number purchasing the information (b) the tonnage band in which you as the importer fall. In the above instance, and I attach evidence from Titanium Metal Consortium, our company would fall into the band of < 1,000 mt which means our letter of access would cost €40,000 (Euros) and not £70,000 as I mentioned in evidence. I apologise for this error but hope that it still makes the point that, translated across numerous substances or metals, the fees are punitive. [I repeated my error under Question 107]


As I referred to JP Morgan by name, I thought best to attach an article dated 4.12.10 from The Daily Telegraph[57] which refers to the matter in question. The point I was making was that at the MMTA we have rules to prevent any trading entity to also own MMTA approved warehouses as this could lead to a conflict of interest. The LME rules, which allow very large member companies, who are involved in trades on the exchange for their own account, to own LME-approved warehouses, is a conflict of interest—and is manipulative. The context of my comments was that the cause of over-priced metals is, in many instances, unrelated to any shortage in nature or production, but rather poor legislation and perverted systems.


Under Charles Swindon's evidence Hansard has recorded the word "bans" which should be "bands"—which refers to the tonnage bands which apply to the relative force of the EU Chemical Directive when applied to companies who import metals and substances into Europe. For example some metals under the EU Chemical Directive are not regulated under a band of 1 mt, and the costs of registration and letters of access alter according to whether the tonnage imported per year is > 1,000 mt, < 1,000 mt , < 100 mt, < 1 mt. In our case, even though we are unlikely to import as much as 100 mt of Titanium per year, we must still pay for a letter of access that applies to < 1,000 mt. (see email 29.11.2010 timed 02.24 from Titanium Metal Consortia attached).[58]

Anthony Lipmann
Managing Director
Lipmann Walton and Co Ltd

2 March 2011

57   "JP Morgan grabs £1 billion of copper reserves", The Daily Telegraph, 4 December 2010 Back

58   Not printed here Back

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Prepared 17 May 2011