Ausmelt Limited (AET) has successfully completed provision of its Top Submerged Lance (TSL) smelting technology for the new nickel smelting plant built by Jinchuan Nonferrous Metals Co Ltd (Jinchuan), China's largest nickel producer, in the Gansu Province of China. At more than one million tonnes a year of concentrate feed, it is presently Ausmelt's largest operating smelting plant and the first application of TSL technology to nickel smelting at this commercial scale. The newly commercialised technology is known as the JAE (Jinchuan, Ausmelt & ENFI) Nickel Smelting Technology.
The plant began operating in August 2008 and quickly reached its designed throughput capacity. Jinchuan has been so happy with the overall operating performance of the new plant that it decided to issue the Plant Performance Acceptance Certificate and the final project payment to Ausmelt before the expiry of the 12-month performance warranty period.
Ausmelt and Jinchuan have agreed to continue co-operating in the areas of plant improvements and optimization and joint publications and marketing of the JAE Nickel Smelting Technology.
Ausmelt's Managing Director, Mr Paul Abbott, said today: "Ausmelt has long recognised that its technology could bring significant benefits to the nickel industry. To have achieved this success together with Jinchuan, a recognised leader in the global nickel industry, is an important milestone.
"Ausmelt has four other plants currently operating in China using its TSL technology, three for copper and one for tin. A further six Ausmelt TSL plants are currently under design or construction in China, three for copper, two for lead and one for nickel. The second nickel smelter is scheduled to commence operations later this year."