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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: October 10th 2005


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:: DRA Designs Additional Zambian Copper Recovery Plants

Three additional Copper SX-EW (solvent extraction and electrowinning) projects have been awarded to Dowding, Reynard and Associates (DRA) by Mopani Copper Mines, Kitwe, Zambia. All three plants are at the design engineering phase with procurement beginning shortly. Contractual completion is planned for mid / end 2006.

The contracts were awarded in May this year after the successful commissioning in November 2004 of the DRA designed and constructed copper recovery plant situated in Mufulira about 50 km north of Kitwe. This plant recovers copper from an in situ leach operation and produces LME Grade A or equivalent, cathode copper using solvent extraction and electrowinning technology

The plant is designed to produce 17 500 tpa of copper. It uses four mixer/settler units, operating in a series-parallel arrangement, giving an in-built flexibility to handle higher-than-design copper concentrate solutions. Electrowinning takes place in the No. 3 electro-refinery (ER), an existing tank house facility. The entire plant is of modern design to minimise the consumption of reagents and other utilities and consumables.

Scope of work further included an electrolyte system combined with multimedia filtration, heat recovery, crud treatment system with pressurised filtration and diluent storage. Feed to the SX plant has a grade of approximately 4 g/l to 5 g/l copper, and raffinate is returned to the leach.




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