Typical of copper matte recycling furnaces are the semi-closed design and stationary installation. So far , SMS group has supplied more than 25 submerged-arc furnaces for slag cleaning and matte setting in circular and rectangular shapes. That means we have banked a lot of experience. Depending on the process, the slag is either liquid- charged into the furnace via launders, or cold-charged in solid form via conventional feeding systems. Today, there is a trend towards rectangular-shaped slag cleaning units. We calculate that the additional recovery rate of a rectangular furnace in continuous operation can be 0.1 - 0.4% more than a conventional SAF (depending on the specific parameters).
The rectangular furnace at Mopani Copper Mines in Zambia is primarily used for copper slag cleaning. It's installed downstream of an IsaSmelt® furnace for separating Cu-matte (+ Cu) from slag. Just check out the recovery rate and you'll see for yourself the excellent depletion performance of this furnace type.
New on our books in December 2006 was an order from Engineering Dobersek for a rectangular matte separation furnace. Here again, the unit was installed downstream of an IsaSmelt® furnace. Engineering Dobersek acted as the general contractor on behalf of Glencore / Kazzinc in Kazakhstan. Finally, the entire plant including the depleting furnaces was commissioned in 2011. This is yet another project after Mopani Copper that proves this plant configuration is gaining acceptance as a viable and efficient method of copper production. Then, in March 2012, Metix and Kansanshi Mining PLC - majority- owned by First Quantum Minerals - signed a contract for a settling electric furnace. It was due to be integrated into a major expansion of the Kansanshi copper smelter in Zambia's Copperbelt province. This furnace is a rectangular three (3) in-line furnace with a footprint of roughly 29 x 9 meters and a 24 MVA transformer rate. Commissioning in March 2015 went without a hitch.