Review of Boliden Harjavalta Copper Smelter

Additonal authors: Peuraniemi, E.J.. 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

Veneranta, T.

Boliden Harjavalta has operated a copper flash smelter since 1949 thus the smelter celebrates 70th anniversary of flash smelting in 2019. This paper shortly describes the historical perspective of the smelter and gives an update of the current operational issues and process modifications made during the recent years. The plant has carried out several major investments lately providing a firm view on the future. A new landfill area for the final slag was commissioned in 2018. A modernization of the concentrate storage area, a new acid plant and a debottlenecking project of the smelting line have been recently commissioned. At the same time, the tankhouse capacity will be expanded. This paper focuses on smelter modernizations. INTRODUCTION Boliden is a metal company operating mainly in northern Europe with core competencies in the fields of exploration, mining, smelting and metal recycling. Boliden Harjavalta, located in Finland, is part of the Smelters Business area of the Boliden Group and operates a copper and nickel smelter with related sulphuric acid plant in Harjavalta, and a copper refinery in Pori. As a short historical review, Harjavalta’s history may be dated back to the year 1910 when the Outokumpu ore body in eastern Finland was discovered. By the end of 1913, a copper mine was in operation and a copper plant based on Hybinette process was ready for commissioning. Due to difficulties in metal recoveries and throughput the Hybinette process was permanently shut down in 1929, and 100% of the mining production was sold as concentrate abroad. As the mine production increased steadily, a decision of a new smelter was made in early 30’s. In 1936 Outokumpu’s copper smelter based on electric smelting was commissioned in Imatra. The smelter was dismantled and transferred to Harjavalta during the final stages of the Second World War. The copper refinery started in Pori already in 1941 and the first copper anodes were cast in Harjavalta in 1945. First sulphuric acid plant started operation in 1947. Due to the post-war shortage of electrical energy, the plant metallurgists initiated a major development work to start exploiting the latent heat of concentrates. Thus, the flash smelting method was developed in Harjavalta and commissioned in 1949. Ten years later, flash smelting was also applied for nickel concentrates. Table 1 summarizes major historical and technical milestones of Harjavalta. The history of flash smelting is described in details in another paper of this conference (Jåfs et al., 2019).
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019