Japan's Dowa Mining to Use Ausmelt Technology in New Scrap Smelting Plant

On 6th July 2005, Ausmelt Limited announced that it had signed a major new contract with a renowned international metals company to provide Ausmelt’s Top Submerged Lance (TSL) technology for a new smelter. Ausmelt was unable to reveal the name of the client at the time because the client had not yet satisfied all of its disclosure requirements.

Ausmelt can now report that the new contract is with Japan’s leading non-ferrous metal producer, Dowa Mining Co. Ltd. Dowa will construct a new smelting furnace using Ausmelt’s TSL technology to process a wide variety of scrap and waste materials. Furnace operations are planned to commence in the second half of 2007.

The new furnace will be constructed at Dowa's 72,000 tpa Kosaka Copper Smelter in Akita prefecture in North Eastern Japan. The furnace will be designed to smelt 150,000 tpa of electronic scraps, metal residues and other waste materials. A spokesperson for Dowa said “this is a highly versatile furnace that can 'eat' various feedstock...and would produce gold, silver, copper, lead, bismuth, tellurium, tin, nickel, antimony, platinum, palladium, zinc, rhodium, germanium, gallium, indium, sulfur...a total of 19 metals."

Dowa plans to collect scraps and wastes from its 16 plants in Japan, and will also establish a feedstock supply chain overseas. Dowa's offices in Shanghai and Suzhou in China, and New York and Ohio in the United States are building the supply chains that will extend throughout China, South East Asia and North America. "The domestic feedstock supply is limited and the feedstock prices may rise. So we would source from overseas," Dowa said.

The Ausmelt contract covers provision of technology, engineering design services and site services. A decision on the provision of Ausmelt equipment supply for the project is expected towards the end of the engineering design stage. Work on the project is progressing well. The process and basic engineering design for the project have been completed and the detailed engineering design has begun.

Ausmelt and Dowa worked closely together in the first half of this year in the development phase of this project. This included extensive trials at Ausmelt’s pilot plant facility at Dandenong and metallurgical process definition for the commercial plant operation.

Ausmelt’s Managing Director, Mr Paul Abbott, said: “Ausmelt is delighted to be working on this exciting project with Dowa, one of the world’s most respected metal smelting and refining companies.

“Ausmelt technology is currently being used around the world to process a wide range of non-ferrous and waste materials. This is another commercial application of Ausmelt technology for the processing of more complex scrap and waste materials. We are confident that this project in partnership with Dowa will further demonstrate the flexibility of our technology”.


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