Permitting, Construction and Commissioning of a New Slag Landfill at Boliden Harjavalta

Additonal authors: Peuraniemi, Esa. 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

Heikkilä, Hanna-Leena

Boliden Harjavalta has been operating a copper flash smelter since 1949. Thus, in 2019, the smelter is celebrating its 70th anniversary of flash smelting. Slag formation is an integral part of the smelting process; currently the processing of slag is based on froth flotation at the slag concentrator. It provides high recovery of copper but restricts slag utilization; the final copper slag is deposited in a landfill. The Harjavalta smelter commissioned a new landfill area for final slag in May 2018. This paper describes the full project from permitting to commissioning of a new landfill area. The permitting process is described comprehensively, including environmental impact assessment together with the environmental and dam safety monitoring. During the environmental impact assessment, observations on rare animals protected on European level were made as well as archaeological findings. Successful completion of the permitting allowed the construction phase to start on time. After six years of intensive work, the new landfill was commissioned in May 2018. The new landfill area provides a sustainable way to store the smelter’s slag for decades to come. INTRODUCTION Slag processing Sulphide based concentrates have always formed the main raw material stream at Harjavalta’s copper smelter. During the smelting and converting steps, the iron included in the concentrate is oxidized and fluxed using a silica-based sand. Originally, the slag was processed by using an electric slag cleaning furnace after which the final slag was water granulated. Froth flotation has been utilized for slag treatment since 1966. In the beginning, the slag was cooled in open ditches. In 1984, controlled slow cooling of slag was licenced to enhance copper recovery at the flotation plant. Today, the slag from both the smelting and converting is tapped/skimmed to slag ladles and treated in the following steps: Slag ladle transportation from the smelter to the cooling area by slag hauler Slow cooling of slag in the ladle to allow mineral precipitation Unloading the slag by tilting the ladle; causing the slag to crush as it drops from the ladle Feeding the crushed slag (-500 mm) by wheel loader to a slag concentrator’s feed funnel followed by a conveyor belt transporting the slag to the concentrator plant Crushing and grinding using lump and pebble mills Froth flotation of the valuables Recycling the slag concentrate back to the smelter feed after dewatering Pumping the final copper slag to the landfill area.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019