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Acid Plant Database November 3, 2011


First Quantum Minerals Ltd.

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Location Bwana Mkubwa
Website www.first-quantum.com
Plant Plant No. 1 Plant No. 2
Coordinates* 13° 2' 36" S, 28° 42' 31" E -
Type of Plant Sulphur Burning Sulphur Burning
Gas Source Elemental Sulphur Elemental Sulphur
Plant Capacity 300 MTPD 120 MTPD

2002: 140,263 MTPA
2003: 132.951 MTPA
2004:   68,609 MTPA (1/2 year)
2007: 276,349 MTPA (?)
2008: 296,116 MTPA (?)

SA/DA - -
Status Operating Operating
Year Built - 2001
Technology - -
Contractor - -
Remarks - -
Pictures     First Quantum - Bwana Mkubwa 3.jpg (44568 bytes)
General First Quantum Minerals Ltd. is a growing mining and metals company whose principal activities include mineral exploration, development and mining. The Company produces LME grade "A" copper cathode, copper in concentrate, gold and sulphuric acid.

The Company's assets in Zambia include the 80% owned Kansanshi open pit copper-gold mine, the 100% owned Kashime copper project and the 100% owned Bwana Mkubwa SX/EW facility and sulphuric acid plants. First Quantum also holds strategic investments in Mopani Copper Mines (16.9%), operator of the Nkana underground copper mine and cobalt refinery and the Mufulira underground copper mine, smelter and copper refinery, as well as Equinox Minerals Ltd. (19.25%), a publicly-traded company that is currently developing the Lumwana copper mine.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, First Quantum operates the 95% owned open pit Frontier copper mine and is currently developing the 65% owned the Kolwezi copper-cobalt tailings project.

In Mauritania, First Quantum operates the 80% owned Guelb Moghrein copper-gold mine.

In Finland, the Company owns the 100% Kevitsa nickel-copper-PGE project.
Reference -
News June 20, 2011 – Canada’s First Quantum Minerals will entrench its position as the largest copper miner in Zambia as it nearly doubles production and builds a new smelter in a $900m project at its Kansanshi mine, which remains the main source of tax revenue for the government.  It will become a significant gold producer too, with output expected to rise 65% by 2015 from this year’s forecast of 120000oz, Sean Whittome, Kansanshi’s GM, said last week.  First Quantum sends its gold to Rand Refinery in Germiston for refining.  It will complete 150000m of exploration drilling on its Kansanshi property near Solwezi in northern Zambia by the end of next year as it pushes output at the mine to 400000 tons of copper a year from 230000 tons last year.  The current life of the mine, including inferred resources, is 20 years. "By the end of 2012 it will be significantly more than 20 years," mine manager Meiring Burger said last week.  Not only is First Quantum the largest copper producer in Zambia, it is also the biggest taxpayer and it is thought it will contribute a fifth of the government’s revenue this year.  Kansanshi has paid more than 5-trillion kwacha ($1bn) in taxes and royalties between 2006 and last year. By the end of this month it will have paid 2-trillion kwacha ($400m) more.  A new smelter would be built at Kansanshi to treat 1,2-million tons of concentrate to provide a vital source of cheap sulphuric acid that would allow it to combine two separate processing streams and bump up recoveries, Mr Whittome said.  About 11% of Kansanshi’s costs are for acid. Kansanshi has a complex ore body that yields oxide and sulphide ores and a mix of the two. The plant has three production streams to cope with each type.  The smelter, which will decrease Kansanshi’s reliance on other firms to treat its concentrate, will supply 3500 tons of sulphuric acid a day, allowing for the combination of the oxide and "mix" ores, boosting recoveries.  First Quantum is in international arbitration over the Democratic Republic of Congo’s decision to revoke rights to two projects worth about $1bn. It is also awaiting environmental approval from Zambian authorities to start its $1bn Trident project 120km from Kansanshi.  Trident will feed the Kansanshi smelter, the fourth in Zambia, and will treat 1,2-million tons of concentrate. The two mines would deliver about 1,5-million tons of concentrate a year, so First Quantum would need to continue with "some" toll treatment, Mr Whittome said.  First Quantum will build three opencast mines at Trident, which will produce 300000 tons a year of copper after an initial output of 150000 tons a year.  Meanwhile, Copperbelt Energy, the principal supplier of electricity to mines in the copper-rich area of northwestern Zambia, is investigating a 500MW hydroelectric project on the Luapule River bordering the Congo.  The $1,5bn project, if it goes ahead, will not only supply much-needed power to the Copperbelt, but could also open up manganese mining in northeastern Zambia, where exploration is under way. There is small-scale mining by about 40 operators, but the government is anxious to see major players becoming involved.

January 6, 2011 - Vancouver-based First Quantum Minerals Ltd. yesterday closed its Bwana Mkubwa copper mine in Ndola, Zambia because copper reserves have been exhausted, the Zambia Daily Mail reported, citing Mines Minister Maxwell Mwale and Andries Scott, the mine’s technical manager.   First Quantum has also closed its Lonshi mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Lusaka-based newspaper said on its website. Mwale appealed to First Quantum to transfer workers from the closed mine to its Kansanshi mine, the Daily Mail said, adding that at least 600 workers may be affected.  Bwana Mkubwa is the oldest mine in Zambia’s Copperbelt region. The mine was opened in 1902, the Daily Mail said.

2010 Annual Report - The expansion project currently underway is expected to increase annual production capacity to approximately 285,000 tonnes of copper. It is focused on expanding the treatment capacity of the oxide circuit by about 20% to 8.5 million tonnes and building in flexibility to allow for the mixed and sulphide circuits to be switched as needed to suit mining activity. The expansion will include the use of relocated equipment from the recently closed Bwana Mkubwa copper SX/EW plant as well as new installations. This phase of the expansion project is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011. Optimization of the sulphide circuit to derive the required throughput gains expected from the installation of secondary crushing capacity is ongoing.

January 26, 2010 - First Quantum Minerals has restarted operations at the Bwana Mkubwa copper SX/EW (solvent extraction and electrowinning) processing plant in Zambia. Production is expected to average approximately 800 tonnes of copper cathode per month until the end of 2010. The plant will process the stockpiled ore from the now depleted Lonshi open pit mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo following the recent re-opening of the border between the countries.  The mining company said it continues to seek additional sources of economically suitable feed for the plant.  Operations at the Bwana Mkuba plant were suspended amid challenging conditions, primarily the combination of low copper prices and restrictions on the supply of copper into the plant. Copper feed supply Bwana Mkubwa was constricted due to Zambia’s ban on imports from the DRC imposed in November 2007, as the plant was primarily supplied from First Quantum’s mining operations in the DRC.  Lonshi’s mine life ended in Q3 2008. Subsequently 500 tonnes of copper cathode were produced from some remaining low grade ore before First Quantum suspended processing operations. It placed the copper plant on care and maintenance until the Lonshi ore would become available or alternative feed sources were obtained.  In November, First Quantum acquired Kiwara Plc in a in a cash and shares deal, valued at approximately US$260.2 million. Kiwara’s primary asset is a controlling interest in mineral prospecting licences on the periphery of the Kabombo Dome in North Western ProvinceZambia.  The licence area includes the Kalumbila copper deposit, where an infill drilling programme is ongoing as part of a study by Snowden Mining Consultancy to advise on a pre-feasibility study. The initial focus of the study is to establish an indicated resource on the open-pittable mineralization identified by drill results to date.  Also in northern-western Zambia, the company owns an 80% stake in the Kansanshi copper deposit, which produced 245,000 tonnes of copper in the year ended 31st December 2009.

March 11, 2002 - First Quantum Minerals Ltd. is pleased to announce the successful completion of Phase One construction on the expansion of the Bwana Mkubwa SX-EW facilities in Zambia. Phase One consisted of the installation of crushing, milling and pre-leach filtration facilities necessary to process ore from the high grade Lonshi copper deposit located in the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC"). Lonshi, which is located approximately 35 kilometres east of Bwana Mkubwa, hosts a resource of 5.1 million tonnes grading 5.75% copper or 295,000 tonnes of copper (650 million pounds). Processing of Lonshi ore via blending with existing Bwana Mkubwa tailings has commenced.
In addition, construction of a second sulphuric acid plant ("Plant #2") has been completed at Bwana Mkubwa. Acid production has been expanded to 420 tonnes per day of which the original acid plant ("Plant 1") contributes 300 tonnes per day and Plant #2 contributes 120 tonnes per day. Construction of Plant #2 was completed in November, with steady state production beginning in December. On an annual basis, acid production at Bwana Mkubwa has been increased from 105,000 tonnes to 145,000 tonnes. Plant #2 was built in response to the continuing shortage of sulphuric acid in Zambia and the DRC.
Phase Two construction has been initiated at Bwana Mkubwa which includes the expansion of the leach, filtration, solvent extraction and electrowinning facilities to a minimum production capacity of 30,000 tonnes (66 million pounds) of LME grade copper cathode per year from the current 10,000 tonnes (22 million pounds) per year. Phase Two construction is budgeted to be completed by August and commissioned in September 2002.
Campaign open pit mining has been underway at Lonshi since September 2001. At February, an estimated 335,000 tonnes of ore grading approximately 5% copper containing 16,000 tonnes (35 million pounds) of copper has been stockpiled. Waste stripping has continued during the wettest portion of the rainy season, January to February, with a return to the mining of ore scheduled to begin in March. Further drilling will begin in March to test both the strike extension and down dip extension, between 65 metres and 140 metres, of the orebody. The 3,200 metre drill program will focus on extending the known zone of copper mineralization while providing information for future mine planning

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