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|BHAS, together with the G.K. Williams Laboratory, and Ausmelt Pty. Ltd., has examined a number of possible alternatives to conventional silver cupellation in gas fired reverberatory furnaces. Of these alternatives, a Sirosmelt furnace was preferred for both technical and economic reasons. Small scale work on Sirosmelt processes was carried out at the G.K. Williams Laboratory at Melbourne University in 1985/86. Pilot scale work was carried out at the Ausmelt plant in Melbourne in July 1987. Board approval for construction of a full size plant was received in October, 1988, and construction of the plant is currently underway. The plant is expected to provide significant savings in operating costs and silver inventory. Hygiene around the furnace should also be greatly improved. An increase in cupellation rate of at least ten times is expected, compared with the conventional reverberatory furnace.|