Copper Production Increase at the Horne Smelter

Additonal authors: St-Amant, Guy. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

Dion, Guillaume

In 2010, the foreseen increase of copper grade in feed concentrate at the Horne Smelter was a significant challenge to maintain a steady copper flow throughout the process. The Horne Smelter process includes a Noranda Reactor, a Noranda Converter, pyro refining vessels and anode furnaces. Of the many challenges involved, improving the single casting wheel performance was one of the key topics. Its reliability had to be improved to meet the new production objectives, as anode copper production was to increase from 170 000 to 225 000 tonnes/year. A multidisciplinary team was dedicated to improve the casting wheel availability. The improvement project allowed pinpointing failure modes and reviewing operational and maintenance practices. The common understanding developed by the team allowed improving small components with a high gain-to-effort ratio. The project allowed reaching operational targets without any significant investment. INTRODUCTION In operation since 1927, the Horne Smelter, located in Rouyn-Noranda, in Quebec, has undergone several technological changes since its original construction. Built to smelt the Horne mine concentrates, the smelter also accepted some local custom feeds from the first years of operation. When the Horne mines stopped production in 1976, the plant became a 100% custom smelter. With the development of the Noranda Reactor (1973) and Noranda Converter (1997), the Horne smelter increased its productivity and improved its environmental performance. Continuous improvement of the Horne process allowed maintaining a high level of flexibility in the operation of the smelter, while improving its overall capacity.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019