Business in those days consisted mainly in trade with Australia and the Pacific region including the sale & delivery to Europe of Rutile and Zircon sand. Other businesses included the recovery of war scrap and supply of refined Tin to Europe. Companies represented in Europe at that time included Gollin & Co. Eric Lipmann later became a founding partner of Ayrton & Partners Ltd in 1958 and a director of Continental Ore Company Ltd in 1963, bringing that company onto the London Metal Exchange as a ring dealer in 1967.
Our job starts where minor metals are generated – sometimes at the mines where by-products arise through refining, sometimes as scrap or revert where minor metals return to the supply chain following a manufacturing process. Lipmann Walton also commissions on occasion the upgrading or refining of raw materials.
Lipmann Walton brings these metals to market, pre-financing purchases often in parts of the world with either inhospitable climates or political regimes or, quite possibly, both. The delivery of minor metals is essential to the manufacture of a host of products that we sometimes take for granted but without which the world would be, quite conceivably, a less congenial or efficient place.
With the proliferation of technologies requiring minor metals, part of the role of a modern metal merchant today is to study the supply/demand balance and economics that lie behind these markets, providing the information that our customers need to take informed decisions.
Our business from 1993 grew out of the trade & supply of special metals and scrap sourced from Russia, The Baltic Republics, Former Soviet States & Central Asia.
Today, links with these regions remain strong but trade has also grown with China. Our main field is minor metals, which today encompasses the free trade and movement of metals which were once considered too strategic to have any liquidity. These include Zirconium, Hafnium and Rhenium. Some materials are converted & upgraded in Western Europe. Our main partner for the upgrading of Rhenium is Heraeus Precious Metals GmbH & Co. KG.
Typical customers include super alloy and master alloy makers, as well as foundries, target makers, catalyst producers, speciality glass manufacturers, and high-end electronics component makers. Often the company's involvement in a specific element begins from a customer-led enquiry.