NEWFOUNDLAND On Oct. 20 Toronto-based INCO LTD. marked the official startup of its demonstration hydrometallurgical plant in Argentia. The plant will test processing technologies to treat ore from the Voisey’s Bay nickel mine in Labrador (see CMJ, Oct. 2005).
Inco is developing hydromet technologies for Voisey’s Bay in four stages: a bench-scale laboratory testing, which is already completed; a 1/10,000 scale mini-pilot plant which began in 2003 and was completed in June 2005; the operation of the 1/100 scale demonstration plant until late 2007; and its final application as a commercial plant to be built from 2009 to 2011. About 150 people will be involved in the operation of the demonstration plant.
Hydromet has several key advantages over a conventional smelting and refining process. It is more economical in terms both of capital and operating expenses, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly, eliminating the sulphur dioxide and dust emissions associated with a conventional smelter.
The Inco website at www.Inco.com has been given a fresh, new look.