Isasmelt Technology - Current Status And Future Development

Errington, W. J.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1997
The Isasmelt process was developed at Mount Isa Mines Limited in Queensland, Australia in collaboration with CSIRO, the Australian Government research organisation. Originally developed for primary lead smelting, culminating in the construction of a 60,000 tonnes per annum lead smelter at Mount Isa, this technology now also provides a major part of the current 200,000 tonnes per annum copper smelting capacity at Mount Isa. A programme is now in place to expand copper production to 250,000 tonnes per annum. The technology has also been applied to secondary lead smelting at Britannia Refined Metals, a MIM subsidiary company, where a 30,000 tonnes per annum lead plant based on battery scrap feed has been operating since 1991. Mount Isa Mines Limited decided to license the technology in1988, and copper smelting plants utilising Isasmelt technology are now operated by Cyprus Miami Mining Corporation in the USA and by Sterlite Industries in India. In addition, the technology was adopted by AGIP for smelting copper/nickel concentrates in Australia. Union Miniere are currently constructing an Isasmelt furnace to smelt and convert copper-containing materials at their plant at Hoboken in Belgium. This paper discusses these developments and also some likely future developments which include the application of the technology for continuous copper and nickel converting and applications in the treatment of zinc-containing residues.
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