Construction underway on second Mopani acid plant

Mopani mine photosmith2011A second acid plant is currently being built at Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) in Kitwe, Zambia with at least 60 per cent of construction work already completed

Cephas Sinyangwe, MCM head of public relations, said that work on the second acid plant was in progress and the project was part of a three-phase smelter upgrade plan being overseen by MCM at a cost US$450mn.

The MCM three-phase smelter upgrade project was approved by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) in 2004 and is expected to be completed before 2015.

Phase two took place between 2007 and 2009, with two new bigger anode furnaces and twin anode casting wheels being fitted at a cost of US$81mn, improving sulphur capture efficiency.

"Phase three, which began in 2010, 18 months earlier than initially agreed, involves installation of three larger (15'x35') converters and associated gas handling equipment," Sinyangwe said.

“More than 60 per cent of works have been done on the second acid plant and once completed, sulphur dioxide capture will increase from 51 per cent to 97 per cent.” 

The MCM smelter upgrade project has generated 400 jobs for local people, the company stated.

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