NAMIBIA – Dundee Precious Metals of Toronto has announced new capital projects worth US$270 million at its Tsumeb copper smelter. The projects include a sulphuric acid plant and an electric arc furnace.
The US$204-million sulphuric acid plant will be delivered turkey by Outotec. Construction and installation will begin early next year, and the plant will be operational in Q3 2014. The acid produced from this plant is will be sold to domestic and international markets primarily through long term off-take agreements.
In addition, an electric arc holding furnace will be installed to upgrade copper matte before it is converted. Hatch South Africa has estimated the capital cost to be US$66 million, including contingency. Engineering design will commence in the first quarter of 2013. Construction will begin in Q2 2013, with a targeted completion date of late 2014 or early 2015. This project is expected to substantially cut capital, operating and sustaining costs with the additional benefit that it will have near-zero emissions. The existing slag mill and reverberatory furnace will be decommissioned.
The Tsumeb smelter treats high arsenic copper concentrates, and when expansion is complete, it will have a throughput of 240,000 tonnes of concentrate per year. Project 2012, designed to improve fugitive dust management project to improve off-gas capture and workplace conditions, is substantially complete with commissioning to take place in January 2013.
Curious readers can view a photo gallery of the smelter at www.DundeePrecious.com.