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Acid Plant Database   September 9, 2021

Owner Guangxi Nanguo Copper Co., Ltd. -
Dongmeng Youth Industrial Park
Quli Town, Fusui County
Guangxi Autonomous Region

Coordinates* 22° 31' 40" N, 107° 48' 2" E
Type of Plant Metallurgical
Gas Source Copper Smelter
Side-blown smelting and Multiple-lance top-blown converting
Plant Capacity 1,200,000 MTPA
Status Operating
Year Built 2019 - Phase I
Technology Nerin
Contractor Nerin
General At 3:13 a.m., April 14, 2019 the 300 kt/a Copper Smelting Project of Nanguo Copper (Phase I) designed by China Nerin Engineering Co., Ltd. produced its first qualified anode plate, marking China Nerin has successfully applied another leading new copper smelting technology. The “side-blown smelting + multiple-lance top-blown converting” continuous copper smelting system with the largest design capacity in the world as a single production line has been successfully put into production.
Nanguo Copper (Phase I) was designed to produce 300 kt/a cathode copper and 1,200 kt/a sulfuric acid with the “side-blown smelting + multiple-burner top-blown converting” continuous copper smelting process. The blister copper produced from copper concentrate is sent to a rotary anode furnace. Afterwards, the anode plates are sent to a tankhouse with permanent stainless cathode plates. The smelting gas is recycled to produce sulfuric acid with non-equilibrium high-concentration SO2 conversion technology. The smooth completion and testrun of the project proves that the process of “side-blown smelting furnace + top-blown converting furnace” is capable of producing high-quality blister copper with high copper and low sulfur contents and breaks through the barrier of other continuous copper smelting technologies, i.e. high sulfur in blister copper. China Nerin also supplies dedicated equipment such as interlocking copper electrolytic unit, waste acid sulfurization for heavy metal removal and comprehensive utilization plant for the project.         
The project is located in the China-ASEAN Youth Industrial Park in Fusui County, Chongzuo City, Guangxi. It is planned to produce 1,000 kt/a cathode copper and the project will be constructed in three phases. Currently, Phase II is under engineering design and the preliminary work of Phase III has also started. China Nerin will provide the best technologies and the best services to build Nanguo Copper a beautiful modern smelter with advanced technological level and powerful market competitiveness at home and abroad. With such a high starting point, Nanguo Copper will make leapfrog developments towards a green, large, intelligent smelter.         
The copper smelting project of Nanguo Copper is invested by Guangxi Nanfang Nonferrous Metal Group Co., Ltd. The waste water will be 100% recycled and the project will reach or be superior to the domestic advanced level in terms of technical equipment, comprehensive energy consumption and environmental protection and energy saving. The capital and operation expense per ton of copper in the project are both of obvious advantage. The construction of Nanguo Copper will exert profound influence on optimizing China's copper industry chain layout and advancing the global copper smelting technologies.
News February 7, 2020 - A copper smelter in Southwest China has declared force majeure on deliveries of copper concentrate, two sources briefed on the matter said on Friday, as a coronavirus outbreak in the country heightened fears about a hit to demand.  Guangxi Nanguo Copper, with production capacity of 300,000 tonnes per year, is the first smelter in China to declare force majeure following the virus epidemic, which has killed more than 600 people and sparked concerns about copper demand in the world’s biggest consumer of the metal.  One of the sources, with a major bank, said the force majeure related to copper concentrate cargoes that had not been nominated or had letters of credit issued.  “So it’s not really a credit issue ... just that as production is being cut down there is less need to take material.”  “With various places sealed off and traffic control in connection with the virus, I think there is ground to raise force majeure,” the source added.  A second mining source said he had heard from other main suppliers to Guangxi Nanguo about the force majeure. His company did not supply much concentrates to the smelter and hence did not directly receive the notice.  Lackluster demand for sulphuric acid, a byproduct of copper production, due to factory closures including those in the manufacturing hub and epicenter of coronavirus Hubei means many copper smelters are exacted to cut production.  Copper smelters will reduce production by more than 15% in February from the previous month, Chinese research house Antaike said earlier this week, citing high stocks of byproduct sulphuric acid and logistical constraints that could force output cuts.  Three other sources, including one at Nanguo supplier China Minmetals Corp [CHMIN.UL], said the company had asked for shipments to be delayed but were unsure if there had been an official force majeure declaration. A Minmetals spokesman was unaware of the matter.  The second of these sources, who also supplies concentrate into China, said Nanguo was on maintenance in January and decided to ask for deliveries to be suspended due to the virus, a lack of manpower and transportation problems.  The third source, another supplier to Nanguo, said the firm had temporarily shut production but could resume next week.  Calls to Guangxi Nanguo, which only started up its smelter last year, went unanswered on Friday and the company did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

August 19, 2019 - Guangxi Nanguo, who recently had to suspend its newly constructed 300,000 tonne per year copper smelter due to a lack of funds, has entered into procurement financing agreements with state-owned conglomerate Minmetals, sources with direct knowledge told Fastmarkets.  As part of the agreements, Minmetals will secure letters of credit (LCs) for Nanguo, enabling the smelter to buy the copper concentrates it uses as raw material feed. LCs are banking guarantees that a buyer's payment to a seller will be received on time and for the agreed amount; without one, most suppliers will not deliver.  The smelter was previously said to be struggling to open LCs when buying overseas copper concentrates. Nanguo’s previous LCs were jointly issued by multiple banks, a sign that the smelter found it challenging to prove its financial reliability for large sums.  Copper smelting in China is expanding at an unprecedented rate, but slim margins for processing copper and a weak credit environment for industrial companies in the country have caused private smelters there to suffer difficulties in obtaining feed.  Still, with larger companies willing to foot the bill for smaller competitors, an expected future consolidation in the Chinese market could be further off than anticipated.  Several other conglomerates and trading houses were interested in supplying financial help to Nanguo, sources with direct knowledge told Fastmarkets.  At today's London Metal Exchange cash copper price of $5,790 per tonne, a standard 10,000 dry metric tonne parcel of 26% purity copper concentrates would cost a smelter approximately $13.6 million accounting for treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) of $55 per tonne /5.5 cents per lb and not including additional payments for precious metals.  While Minmetals has helped Nanguo in tackling an imminent challenge in raw materials sourcing, Minmetals will also purchase part of Nanguo’s copper cathodes output, Fastmarkets understands.  Guangxi Nanguo’s 300,000 tpy new copper capacity went against headwinds to come online in April, a time when copper TCs were on the decline and copper cathode premiums stayed soft.  Only one month after commencement, the operations were suddenly halted, with the company citing a technical problem in the production procedures while many sources cited also a lack of financial resources.  It resumed operations at the end of June, yet since then it has found it hard to open LCs, and thus to secure raw materials feed.  Furthermore, as a newcomer to the market without long-term concentrate supply agreements signed at benchmark-related rates (this year the market is following $80.8/8.08 cents), Nanguang was forced to buy on the spot market and now is not a good time for buyers.  On tight concentrates availability, Fastmarkets’ copper concentrates TC/RC index is now at $49.6 per tonne/ 4.96 cents per lb, the lowest since the index launch in 2013.  www.fastmarkets.com

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