Detailed OPEX Comparison of Modern Copper Smelting Technologies Using HSC-SIM Modelling

Additonal authors: Johto, Hannu. 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

Bunjaku, Ali

It is well known that there are many ways to process copper concentrates into copper anodes using the pyrometallurgical route. All modern copper smelting technologies are fundamentally energy efficient and environmentally safe options, and therefore choosing one depends on the desired capacity range, feed impurity levels, plant location, flexibility needs, overall energy use, and of course smelter economics in both the short and long term. This paper focuses on comparing different solutions which have potentially the lowest variable opex (operational expense), meaning in practice finding out which technology offers the best chances for profit maximization under certain scenarios. For the comparison, we chose to have a closer look at Outotec Flash Smelting (FSF) – Peirce-Smith Converting (PSC), Outotec Flash Smelting (FSF) – Outotec- Kennecott Flash Converting (FCF), Outotec Ausmelt TSL Smelting (ASF) - Peirce-Smith Converting (PSC), Outotec Ausmelt TSL Smelting (ASF) - Outotec Ausmelt TSL Converting (ACF), Mitsubishi Smelting Process (MIT), Bottom Blowing Reactor (BBR) – Bottom Blowing Continuous Converting (BCC), and Side Blowing Furnace (SBF) - Top Blowing Converting (TBC) since these seem to be the main state-of-art technologies now being applied in many recent copper smelter projects around the world. The work was carried out by modelling each smelting route by using the new HSC SIM 9 simulation software and applying operation time, energy, and consumables consumption numbers for each unit process and stream. Combined with cost data, the exercise produced a rich set of information which will be shown in detail for each area per scenario. The authors’ goal here was to provide a fair comparison where each technology can be evaluated from various perspectives such as electricity use or refractory consumption. INTRODUCTION Copper can be produced either pyrometallurgically or hydrometallurgically. The hydrometallurgical route is used only for a limited amount of the world’s copper production (~20%) and is normally only considered in connection with in-situ leaching of copper ores. On the other hand, most of the copper extraction from Cu-Fe-S minerals is pyrometallurgical (~80%) (Schlesinger 2011, ICSG 2017). Thus, several different processes can be applied for copper production, including the following state-of-the-art technologies: Outotec Flash Smelting (FSF) – Outotec-Kennecott Flash Converting (FCF) Outotec Flash Smelting (FSF) – Peirce-Smith Converting (PSC) Outotec Ausmelt TSL Smelting (ASF) - Peirce-Smith Converting (PSC) Outotec Ausmelt TSL Smelting (ASF) - Outotec Ausmelt TSL Converting (ACF) Mitsubishi Smelting Process (MIT) Bottom Blowing Reactor (BBR) – Bottom Blowing Continuous Converting (BCC) Side Blowing Furnace (SBF) - Top Blowing Converting (TBC)
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019
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