The conversion of copper from mined materials consists of a series of chemical, physical, and electrochemical processes. Methods vary with each country depending on the source of the ore, local environmental regulations, and other considerations
As in all mining operations, the base material must usually be concentrated. The waste minerals are removed which results in a higher grade material and subsequently, an increase in the economic value of the crushed ore.
Roasting the ore converts the sulphides to oxides, which are then smelted to produce a crude form of the metal ore called a matte. This allows the impurities to be removed through a reduction process.
The final stage of the production of copper from the ore is electrolysis. Many of the by-products generated by this process are reclaimed for both economic, and environmental reasons. For example, sulphur dioxide gas is captured and converted to sulphuric acid which in turn is then used in the extraction process.
Total Refractory Management was involved with refurbishing the furnaces for Xstrata at Townsville where the shaft furnace and the holding furnace both required significant ling installations.
The vertical shaft furnace required a three stage lining installation and two stage brickwork to complete the successful recommissioning of the furnaces.
Both contracts were completed over an 8 week period with complete safety, logistics and construction planning being managed within the timeframes originally set out.
All work carried out with 0 injuries