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Acid Plant Database   September 8, 2021

Owner China Molybdenum Co., Ltd.

Location About 110 miles northwest of Lubumbashi in the Katanga Province
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Background Former Ownership:
57.75% Freeport-McMoRan www.fcx.com Freeport-Logo.gif (2034 bytes)
24.75% Tenke Mining Corp.
17.5% Gecamines www.gecamines.cd

2016 - May - Freeport sells their shares to China Molybdenum
2019 - China Molybdenum buys shares from BHR Newwood DRC Holdings Ltd,

80% China Molybdenum
20% Gecamines  www.gecamines.cd
Website www.cmoc.com

Tenke Fungurume

Sulphuric Acid Plant Liquid SO2 Plant Plant No. 2
Coordinates* 10° 34' 4" S, 26° 11' 47.5" E 10° 34' 32" S, 26° 11' 42" E (Site) 10° 33' 59" S, 26° 11' 46" E
Type of Plant Sulphur Burning Liquid SO2 Plant Sulphur Burning
Gas Source Elemental Sulphur
Prilled Sulphur in Bags
Elemental Sulphur
Prilled Sulphur in Bags
Elemental Sulphur
Prilled Sulphur in Bags
Plant Capacity 600 MTPD (2009)
825 MTPD (2012)
180 MTPD (3 trains) 1400 MTPD
SA/DA 3/1 DA - 3/1 DA
Emissions - - SO2: 20 ppm (caustic scrubber)
Status Operating Operating Operating
Year Built 2009 2009 2016
Technology Aker Solutions (Chemetics) Aker Solutions (Chemetics) Chemetics
Contractor BJC Construction Industries Limited (Thailand) www.bjc1994.com BJC Construction Industries Limited (Thailand) www.bjc1994.com Hatch
Remarks Power Generation: 5.5 MW - Project Overall Cost: $245 million
Power Generation: 20 MW
Caustic Scrubber
Pictures Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-2.jpg (148011 bytes)  Tenke-Fungurume-Map.jpg (54269 bytes)  Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-3.JPG (109038 bytes)  
Plant No. 1

Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-4.JPG (52535 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-5.JPG (53537 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-6.JPG (64734 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-7.JPG (70249 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-8.JPG (111194 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-9.JPG (83488 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-10.JPG (103254 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-11.JPG (57884 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-12.JPG (58693 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-13.JPG (62291 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-14.JPG (92291 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-15.JPG (112959 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-16.JPG (83929 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-17.JPG (82196 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-18.JPG (44398 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-19.JPG (106059 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-20.JPG (31331 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-21.JPG (33706 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-22.JPG (31190 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-23.JPG (42881 bytes)   Freeport-McMoRan-Tenke-Fungurume-24.JPG (91617 bytes)  
Plant No. 2
General Tenke Fungurume is believed to be the largest undeveloped, high-grade copper/cobalt project in the world today.
References J. Spath, "Tenke Fungurume Project Sulphuric Acid Plant", Presented at COBRAS 2009 - Congresso Brasileiro de Acido Sulfurico, Aker Solutions, September 28, 2009

K. Hayward, "Tenke Fungurume Looks to the Future with Second Sulphuric Acid Plant", Sulfuric Acid Today, Spring/Summer 2016

H. Lee and J. Wellington, "Tenke Fungurume Mining - An Update", Presented at 6th Sulphur and Sulphuric Acid 2017 Conference, Cape Town, 9-12 May 2017, The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

August 21, 2019 - The Chinese operator of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s largest copper producer has told employees that it’s struggling to make money as the collapse of cobalt and copper prices hits miners in the country.  China Molybdenum, which operates the giant Tenke Fungurume mine, said falling metal prices combined with higher taxes and royalties, and rising costs meant it was now in a “deficit zone.” The company said it had also been hit by problems with production equipment.  “In the first half, the company did not achieve its production targets,” its Tenke Fungurume Mining unit said in the letter seen by Bloomberg News. “In addition, the metal prices, copper and cobalt, are at the lowest level. The company is in a deficit zone.”  China Molybdenum’s warning to employees comes as Congo’s entire extractive industry is under pressure after a revised mining code was signed into law in March last year, raising taxes and canceling a clause that would have protected producing mines against fiscal changes for another decade. The government then imposed a 10% royalty tax on cobalt producers eight months later.  Glencore Plc said earlier this month that it will shutter its Mutanda project for about two years in a bid to put a floor under the cobalt market, which has seen prices fall more than 70% since April last year.  Those setbacks highlight how quickly cobalt has shifted from a prized asset to a headache. After quadrupling in two years, prices have collapsed to the lowest since 2016 as new supplies pour into the market. The copper price has dropped by about 5% over the past year.  “Despite the adverse environment and difficulties painted above, in order to preserve jobs and keep current benefits, the new management team, with the support of shareholders, has developed a business revitalization and development plan to face the risks,” China Molybdenum’s unit said.

January 18, 2019 - China Molybdenum, which bought the giant Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt mine from Freeport-McMoRan in 2016, is buying a holding company for $1.14 billion that will give it an 80%-stake in Democratic Republic of Congo’s operation.  The Chinese miner, which has spent almost $5 billion in the past two years on an acquisition rampage, said it had agreed to buy BHR Newwood DRC Holdings Ltd, a holding company set up by private equity firm BHR to buy a 24% stake in Tenke in 2017.  The company already has a controlling stake in the mine, after acquiring a 56% interest in 2016 that was held by Freeport, in a $2.65 billion-deal. Congo’s state miner Gecamines has a 20% interest in the operation.  Congo, which holds vast deposits of cobalt and copper, as well as gold, diamonds, tin and coltan, is one of the world’s most important but difficult mining jurisdictions.  One of the sector’s main concerns in the past year has been a new mining code introduced by outgoing President Joseph Kabila, which increased royalties, added taxes and cancelled a clause that would have protected them against fiscal changes for 10 years.  Despite fierce opposition from the mining industry, there hasn’t been any concessions so far.

January 22, 2017 - China Molybdenum Co Ltd (CMOC) said on Sunday it had signed an agreement with Chinese private equity firm BHR to support BHR’s acquisition of a 24 percent stake in Democratic Republic of Congo’s massive Tenke copper mine.  Congo’s mining minister Martin Kabwelulu, meanwhile, confirmed CMOC had become the majority owner of Tenke after state miner Gecamines dropped its objections to CMOC’s purchase in May of a 56 percent stake from Freeport McMoRan Inc for $2.65 billion.  Gecamines, which holds a 20 percent stake in Tenke, one of the world’s largest copper mines, also dropped its objections to BHR’s purchase of a minority stake from Canada’s Lundin Mining in November for about $1.14 billion, Kabwelulu told Reuters.  Gecamines had previously argued that it had a right to pre-empt the deals. Its representatives could not be immediately reached for comment and it was not clear what compensation, if any, the company had received.  “CMOC will provide financial guarantees and other assistance to BHR to ensure that BHR’s acquisition of Lundin’s 24 percent indirect stake in (Tenke) completes successfully in a timely manner,” CMOC said in a statement.  It added that as part of the agreement CMOC would have the right to purchase BHR’s stake at a pre-agreed price if BHR left the project.  Congo is Africa’s largest copper producer, mining about 1 million tonnes of the metal in 2014 and 2015. Tenke has proven and probable reserves of 3.8 million tonnes of contained copper, according to CMOC.

November 15, 2016 - Lundin Mining Corp. is selling its stake in TF Holdings, owner of the Congolese Tenke mine, to a Chinese private equity firm for $1.5 billion, as part of a transfer of ownership of the mine to Chinese companies.  The Toronto-based zinc, copper and nickel producer said Tuesday it has a definitive agreement to sell its 30 per cent indirect interest in the Bermuda holding company that owns an 80 per cent stake in Tenke Fungurume Mining.  As part of the deal with China’s BHR Partners, Lundin waived its right to acquire Freeport McMoRan’s majority stake in the holding company. Freeport announced in May it had reached a deal to sell its 56 per cent interest in the company to China Molybdenum Co. for US$2.65 billion. 

May 9, 2016 - US miner Freeport-McMoRan has agreed to sell its majority stake in the Tenke Fungurume copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo to China Molybdenum for US$2.65 billion in cash, handing the Chinese company one of the world’s most prized copper assets.  The deal marks China Molybdenum’s second back-to-back acquisition in as many weeks and is a big vote of confidence in copper, which many see as a bright spot among base metals. It is also the biggest copper deal since Glencore sold its Las Bambas copper mine in Peru for US$6 billion in 2014.  China Molybdenum’s decision comes just days after Rio Tinto gave the green light for a US$5.3 billion expansion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine in Mongolia.  Even though copper is languishing near its lowest price in seven years due to a supply glut, the recent corporate activity is a sign that some investors are willing to the call the bottom on the commodities cycle.  Freeport, like other big miners, has been selling assets to cut debt, while China has been snapping up commodity assets around the world to feed its massive economy. The deal takes China’s announced outbound merger and acquisition tally to about US$100 billion so far this year, just shy of the record US$104 billion for all of last year.  Freeport, the world’s biggest listed copper producer, has debt of nearly US$21 billion. It is also has one of the world’s largest copper-cobalt deposits. Since start of this year, it has sold about US$4 billion worth of assets.  “We are committed to our immediate objective of reducing debt while retaining a large portfolio of high quality assets and resources and a leading position in the global copper industry,” Freeport chief executive Richard Adkerson said in a statement.  China Molybdenum chairman Li Chaochun said Tenke was a “renowned copper and cobalt mine that is uniquely large-scale, low-cost and long-lived”.  “Tenke is well positioned to generate strong cash flow throughout the commodity cycle and, by virtue of its substantial mineral endowment, to continue producing high-grade copper for decades to come,” he said in a statement. “In addition, as a leading cobalt producer, Tenke positions [China Molybdenum] to benefit from the highly favourable near-term and long-term fundamentals of the cobalt market.”  The Chinese company said it expected the transaction would be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.  China Molybdenum shares were suspended on Monday, ahead of the release of an announcement. The shares fell 4.7 per cent in Hong Kong before they were halted.  Tenke Fungurume, in the southern Congolese copper belt, is one of the largest copper deposits in the world. Producing since 2009, it is 56 per cent owned by Freeport, with a 24 per cent stake held by Canada’s Lundin Mining and a 20 per cent stake by Gecamines, Congo’s state mining firm.  China Molybdenum agreed last month to pay US$1.5 billion to buy Anglo American’s niobium and phosphates business in Brazil.  Freeport also said it had agreed to negotiate exclusively with China Molybdenum for the sale of its interests in Freeport Cobalt, including the Kokkola cobalt refinery in Finland and the Kisanfu exploration project in Congo.

April 22, 2009
- With copper cathode production under way at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold's giant copper/cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the company is now looking at options for expanding the operation.  The first copper at the Tenke Fungurume project was produced in March, and the first shipment of cathode was scheduled to leave the site by truck on Wednesday, Freeport CEO Richard Adkerson told analysts and investors on a conference call.  The focus is now on completing the cobalt and acid plants at the operation, which will ramp up to its full annual capacity of 250-million pounds of copper and 18-million pounds of cobalt in the second half of 2009.  By March 31, $1,6-billion of the $1,75-billion capital cost of the first phase of the project had been incurred.  However, Freeport has consistently said that it has high hopes for significant expansions and even additional projects at the site.  At the end of 2008, the reserves at Tenke stood at 119-million tons, at 2,6% copper and 0,35% cobalt, for 5,9-billion pounds of copper and 0,7-billion pounds of cobalt.

April 23, 2008 - The Tenke Fungurume copper/cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) may cost around $1,9-billion to build, nearly double an October estimate of $1-billion, US miner Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold said on Wednesday.  Freeport operates the project and owns an effective 57,75% stake, while Vancouver-based Lundin Mining holds 24,75% and DRC State-owned miner Gecamines owns the balance.  The new cost estimate, prepared this month, included an additional $385-million in cost escalations, $170-million as a result of scope changes and $170-million for additional infrastructure, CEO Richard Adkerson said.  Miners around the world are rushing to bring new mines into production and expand existing ones, to take advantage of record metals prices.  However, rising costs for equipment, fuel and labour mean that capital projects are becoming increasingly expensive.

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