The Application Of Ausmelt Technology To Base Metal Smelting, Now And In The Future

Vernon, P. N.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1997
Ausmelt top entry submerged lance technology offers a cost-effective means of carrying out a range of base metal smelting operations with minimum impact on the environment. The system is capable of using a range of fuels depending upon local costs. Due to the intense, localised reaction zone, high energy efficiency is obtained and the physical size of the plant is relatively small compared to that of most competing technologies. Capital cost can thereby be minimised. The furnace is well enclosed, such that fugitive emissions and ingress of diluting air to the gas stream are both minimised. The oxygen potential in the slag can be varied over a wide range such that the system can be applied in both oxidising and reducing duties. Following a general description of the technology, the paper discusses Ausmelt plants already in operation. The application of the technology for the provision of additional smelting capacity, for the improvement of converting operations and for slag cleaning is then described. A brief explanation of how these processes could be applied at southern African smelters is given and the paper closes with an assessment of novel Ausmelt applications for this geographical region, such as zinc recovery from sulphides.
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