headerdrawing1.jpg (96365 bytes)

Sulphuric Acid on the WebTM Technical Manual DKL Engineering, Inc.

Knowledge for the Sulphuric Acid Industry Line.jpg (1139 bytes)

Sulphuric Acid on the Web

Equipment Suppliers

Industry News
Acid Traders

Used Plants
Intellectual Propoerty
Acid Plant Database
Market Information

Technical Manual


Plant Safety
Metallurgial Processes
Sulphur Burning
Acid Regeneration
Lead Chamber
Gas Cleaning
Strong Acid
Acid Storage

Sulphur Systems
Liquid SO2
Boiler Feed Water
Steam Systems

Cooling Water
Effluent Treatment
Analytical Procedures
Materials of Construction
Vendor Data

DKL Engineering, Inc.

Handbook of Sulphuric Acid Manufacturing
Order Form

Sulphuric Acid Decolourization
Order Form
Table of Contents

Process Engineering Data Sheets - PEDS
Order Form
Table of Contents


Bibliography of Sulphuric Acid Technology
Order Form


Sulphuric Acid Plant Specifications

Google Search new2.gif (111 bytes)



Acid Plant Database  August 22, 2018

Owner BHP Billiton - Olympic Dam

bhpbilliton-Logo.gif (3906 bytes)

Location Roxby Downs, South Australia
Background 1933 - Western Mining Corporation, Limited (WMC) formed
1979 - Western Mining Corporation Holdings, Ltd. formed as a holding company of all \wmc properties and operations
1988 - Production of uranium and copper begins at Olympic Dam
Website www.bhpbilliton.com

Plant No. 1

Plant No. 2


30º 26' 40" S, 136º 51' 45" E
Type of Plant


Sulphur Burner
Gas Source - Copper - Outotec Flash Furnace
Elemental Sulphur
Plant Capacity Original: 272 MTPD
1991: 300 MTPD
Original:1634 MTPD
SA/DA - 3/1 DA
Status Shutdown 1999
Year Built - 1999
Technology - MECS
Contractor - -
Remarks Plant designed to handle high strength SO2 gas using a pre-converter 1999 - Blower explosion
2003 - Acid cooler leak leading to a hydrogen explosion in Interpass Absorber
General The Olympic Dam underground mining operation is highly mechanised, with automated rail transportation and underground crushing. The primary method of ore extraction is long hole open stoping with cemented aggregate fill. This method allows for large equipment to achieve high productivity and maximum ore recovery.

Ore is hoisted to the surface where it is fed to one of two grinding circuits. After grinding, the resultant slurry passes to a flotation circuit where a series of flotation stages and a further regrinding activity produce a copper concentrate. The concentrate then passes through a leaching circuit which is principally designed to extract uranium from the copper minerals. Uranium is extracted in a solvent extraction plant, producing yellow-cake, which is subsequently calcined to produce uranium oxide concentrate and then packaged in drums for export sales.

After drying, copper concentrate is fed to an Outokumpu flash furnace smelter, which produces blister copper and flash furnace slag. Blister copper is transferred to anode furnaces for fire refining. Anode copper is transported to the refinery where the ISA electro-refining process is used to produce copper cathodes. The slimes from this process are treated separately to recover gold and silver.

The deposit was discovered in 1975 by Western Mining Corporation Ltd which was looking for copper in buried sedimentary rocks. After considering geophysical data a drill hole was sunk near a small stock water dam known as Olympic Dam. It struck copper, and later drilling confirmed a resource of more than 2000 million tonnes of ore containing both copper and uranium. From 1979 the deposit was developed as a Joint Venture with British Petroleum Ltd. In 1985 it was decided to proceed with the project, and production commenced in 1988.

WMC (Olympic Dam Operations) Pty Ltd is the management company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BHP Billiton Limited, which took over WMC Resources in mid 2005. Initially BP Minerals Ltd was a 49% partner in the enterprise, but WMC took over BP Minerals' share in 1993 for $315 million.

References -
News August 22, 2018 - World’s No.1 mining company BHP revealed Tuesday that ore processing at its Olympic Dam copper, gold and uranium mine in South Australia is being affected by an ongoing technical issue.  Copper production at Olympic Dam is set to reach around 230,000 tonnes by 2021, but there is potential for up to 450,000 tonnes per year.Releasing annual results, the company — which spent A$600 million (about $460m) in fiscal 2018 upgrading the operation — said it was assessing the impact of the ongoing outage.  The technical issue followed the failure of several boiler tubes at the acid plant, BHP said without offering an expected timeline for operations to resume.“Remediation and mitigation activities are underway, and underground mining operations continue as normal,” it said.  The difficulty, Australian Broadcast Corporation reported, could disrupt production for up to eight weeks, though an exact timeframe is not yet known.

April 9, 1999
- An explosion at WMC's Olympic Dam smelter is the latest in a series of industrial accidents at the copper-gold-uranium mine  A multimillion-dollar section of the smelter has been shut indefinitely following the incident caused by equipment failure, when a blower which transfers "off-gases" from the smelter to an acid plant failed.  The explosion took place at about 10.30pm on Tuesday 30 March.  There were no injuries, although the blast seriously damaged a building and equipment.  The area was part of a $2 billion expansion unveiled by Prime Minister John Howard on Friday 26 March.  WMC spokesman terry Dwyer described the explosion as a "teething problem", saying the incident would not affect other parts of the processing plant, although it would be several days before the damage and any future delays could be finally assessed.  There were reports that the explosion had been felt up to 4 km away.  Dr. Dennis Matthews, raised concerns about the size of the explosion affecting equipment dealing with radioactive materials.

MTPD - Metric Tonne per Day           STPD - Short Ton per Day
MTPA - Metric Tonne per Annum      STPA - Short Ton per Annum
SA - Single Absorption
DA - Double Absorption

* Coordinates can be used to locate plant on Google Earth