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

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Acid Plant Database   April 7, 2021

Owner Kamoto Copper Company
Location Kolwezi
Lualaba Province
Democratic Republic of Congo
Background Katanga Mining Limited
Formerly Gécamines
Website www.katangamining.com
Plant -
Coordinates* 10° 43' 15" S 25° 21' 58" E
Type of Plant Sulphur Burning
Gas Source Elemental Sulphur
Shipped in bulk bags
Plant Capacity Sulphuric Acid: 1900 MTPD
Sulphur Dioxide: 200 MTPD
Emissions -
Status Operating
Year Built 2020
Technology MECS
Contractor Desmet Ballestra Italy
Remarks Power Generation: 17 MW
Liquid SO2 Plant
General “Kamoto Copper Company SA", a leading copper mining company based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, subsidiary of Glencore International, has awarded to Desmet Ballestra Italy (DBI) the design and supply of a sulphuric acid plant having an overall capacity of 2200 ton/day, complete with a Liquid SO2 production unit and a co-generation unit based on a steam turbine. The sulphuric acid plant will be based on MECS Dupont technology, while the Liquid SO2 unit will be based on a process developed by DBI. DBI scope of supply includes the execution of basic and detail engineering, the supply of plant equipment and materials and the provision of field services, including assistance to construction management and management of commissioning and start-up based on a fast track execution scheme. This is the second sulphuric and Liquid SO2 project awarded by Glencore Group to DBI, following the first project for the Glencore subsidiary Mutanda Mining, successfully started-up in 2012. www.desmetballestra.com
References -

April 6, 2021 Glencore's GLEN.L Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) mine in the Congo had a "limited release" of sulphuric acid from a tank during maintenance work on March 16, the commodities trading giant said on Tuesday.  Glencore declined to say how much acid was spilled from the tank, but said KCC immediately contained the spill and conducted follow-up monitoring of the environment, and there were no injuries to the workforce or contractors.  "At approximately 7pm on 16 March, KCC experienced a limited release of acid from Tank Farm 1 during maintenance work. There was no explosion," Glencore said in a statement.  "Follow-up with the community was conducted to advise of the event and our community officers have not registered any complaints nor concerns from their engagement with the surrounding communities."  Glencore's statement came after Congolese non-governmental organisation AFREWATCH said a tank containing sulphuric acid had exploded at KCC, causing acid to spill into nearby rivers, and called for an investigation.  Mines minister Willy Kitobo Samsoni told Reuters investigations are underway.  Glencore said KCC continues to engage with local authorities and communities regarding the incident, and hosted a site visit by the Department of the Environment last month.  KCC, which is 75% owned by Glencore subsidiary Katanga Mining with the remainder held by Congo's state mining company Gecamines, produces copper and cobalt near Kolwezi, the capital of Congo's Lualaba province.  KCC produced 23,900 tonnes of cobalt in 2020, up 40% in the previous year.

April 13, 2020
- Glencore’s Katanga Mining will repatriate 350 Indian contractors at its 75%-owned Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) after the company halted the commissioning of its acid plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).Katanga Mining is 99.5% owned by Glencore.According to Reuters, the contractors were sent from the mine site near Kolwezi to Haut-Katanga’s capital Lubumbashi, and are awaiting flights back to India.Haut-Katanga governor Jacques Kyabula Katwe was quoted by the news agency as saying: “If it is not possible for them to go back to India next week, I will send them back to Kolwezi.”Last month, the company said that the commissioning of the acid plant will be delayed to the second half of this year due to travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  KCC had already repatriated 26 foreign workers in March in response to the global outbreak.

March 31, 2020
- TSX-listed Katanga Mining is closely monitoring the progress of the spread of Covid-19 and is taking measures to contain the impact thereof on the health of its employees and operations.  Meanwhile, as previously announced, Katanga’s 75%-owned subsidiary Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) entered into an agreement with KCC’s 25% shareholder, Democratic Republic of Congo- (DRC-) owned La Générale des Carrières et des Mines to acquire from Gécamines a comprehensive land package covering areas adjacent to KCC’s existing mining concessions for $250-million.  None of this had been paid as at February 13, 2020.  The land includes multiple blocks for construction of a new long-term tailings facility and the possible exploitation of additional resources that would enhance KCC’s ability to more efficiently operate its mines and facilities and fulfil other key infrastructure requirements. The agreement provides for an initial payment of $150-million from KCC to Gécamines, which had been postponed, and, as a result, the agreement was treated as an executory contract and the commitments of $250-million were disclosed as capital commitments in the 2019 annual financial statements.  Engagement with Gécamines and the DRC authorities regarding the initial payment has been ongoing.  KCC has received an injunction order from the General Prosecutor of the Court of Appeal of Kinshasa that orders KCC not to make any payment to Gécamines, pending the conclusion of an investigation by the General Prosecutor relating to Gécamines’ executives.  After reviewing all of its options, KCC has provided notice to Gécamines that the order constitutes a force majeure under the agreement and that its obligations under the agreement are suspended.  Additionally, the company has continued to progress toward the commissioning of its previously disclosed sulphuric acid, sulphur dioxide production and steam turbine generator project at KCC.  However, the acid plant’s commissioning is now delayed as a result of the inability to mobilise necessary commissioning experts to site owing to Covid-19.  The acid plant is expected to be commissioned in the second half of this year, rather than in the first half of the year.

February 3, 2020
- The sulphuric acid, sulphur dioxide and steam turbine generator projects (the "Acid Plant"), continues to progress towards targeted commissioning during H1 2020.

October 24, 2019
- Katanga Mining Limited
today provides an update on its major projects and announces its 2019 third quarter production results at the Company's 75%-owned subsidiary Kamoto Copper Company.  The Sulphuric Acid production (Phase 1), Sulphur Dioxide production (Phase 2) and Steam Turbine Generator (Phase 3) project at KCC (the "Acid Plant"), continues to progress. All civil works have been completed for Phase 1 (Sulphuric Acid Production Plant) with Phases 2 and 3 civil works scheduled for completion in Q4 2019. Structural, mechanical, plate work, piping and electrical and instrumentation installation are progressing. Design has been completed, and some procurement items will continue into Q4 2019, but mainly relating to the Sulphur dioxide production (Phase 2) and the Steam Turbine Generator (Phase 3).  KCC has received from the Directorate for the Protection of the Mining Environment ("DPEM"), the applicable Environmental Impact Study approvals. Commissioning of the Acid Plant is scheduled to continue through H1 2020.

July 31, 2019
- The boards of TSX-listed Katanga Mining and its subsidiary Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) have approved the construction of an ion exchange plant and, subject to obtaining the required authorisations, plan to commission the plant in the second quarter.  Katanga’s output of cobalt contained in hydroxide decreased to 2 607 t in the second quarter ended June 30, from the 3 511 t produced in the first quarter.  KCC earlier this year temporarily suspended the export and sale of cobalt owing to the presence of uranium detected in the cobalt hydroxide at levels that exceed the acceptable limit allowed for export of the product through main African ports.  On April 25, KCC resumed the export and sale of a limited quantity of cobalt that complies with both international and local Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) transport regulations with respect to the levels of uranium.  An aggregate of 97% of the cobalt hydroxide produced in the second quarter complied with international transport regulations and was also below the acceptable limit of contained uranium allowed for export through main African ports.  KCC, together with joint venture partner, DRC State-owned La Générale des Carrières et des Mines (Gécamines), has been working with the DRC government's Ministry of Mines and the Congolese Atomic Energy Agency on a long-term technical solution in the form of an ion exchange plant.  KCC has also implemented various alternative interim solutions, both operational and regulatory, resulting in the recommencement of the export and sale of a limited quantity of cobalt.  Meanwhile, Katanga’s previously announced cobalt debottlenecking projects are expected to be completed and in full production during the second quarter of 2020. The commissioning of two filter presses was completed earlier in the year, while the third filter press is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.  The commissioning of the MgO plant was completed in the first half of the year.  The objective of the cobalt projects is to upgrade the existing cobalt plant to reduce bottlenecks by modification of the precipitation, thickening, filtration, drying and bagging processes.  This will align the capacity of the cobalt plant with the average planned life-of-mine cobalt production of 30 000 t/y.  Following these improvements, the cobalt circuit will be fully integrated with the existing whole-ore-leach processing facilities at the Luilu metallurgical plant.  At the end of the second quarter and in July, the recently commissioned cobalt dryers suffered mechanical breakdowns, which prevents the company from drying cobalt hydroxide until the expected completion of repairs to the dryers in the fourth quarter of this year.Further,
Katanga’s sulphuric acid, sulphur dioxide production plant and steam turbine generator project (acid plant), continues to progress in accordance with the latest construction plan.  Final design items and minor procurement items will be finalised in the third quarter of this year, and all critical civil works have now been completed for Phase 1 of the acid plant. Structural, mechanical, plate work and piping installation are progressing in accordance with the plan.  All major long-lead items have arrived on site and are being installed.  Commissioning of the acid plant is scheduled to start in the first half of 2020.
Katanga’s copper cathode production decreased to 52 514 t in the second quarter, from 57 175 t in the first quarter of this year.   The company also expects its full-year copper and cobalt production to be lower than the previously guided 285 000 t and 26 000 t, respectively.  A business review aimed at improving efficiency and recovery, raising product quality and reducing costs for this year and next is under way, with the results to be announced soon. www.miningweekly.com

May 15, 2018
- Design work progressed during Q1 2018 on the Acid Plant. The Acid Plant is a sulphuric acid and sulphur dioxide production plant to be constructed at KCC, which is anticipated to improve the reliability (compared to imports) of the supply of these reagents to the WOL project processing circuit. The Acid Plant is designed to produce 1,900 tonnes per day of sulphuric acid, 200 tonnes per day of sulphur dioxide and net 17 MW of co-generated power. Acid production is expected to commence in Q3 2019.

December 11, 2017
- Katanga Mining Limited today announces that it has successfully completed the hot commissioning of the core of the first train of its new whole ore leach processing facility at its subsidiary Kamoto Copper Company's copper and cobalt mine in Lualaba Province, DRC. The Luilu site where the WOL and electro-winning plants of KCC are located, successfully produced its first copper cathode on December 11th, 2017.  Copper and cobalt production at KCC has been suspended since September 2015 pending the construction of the WOL project. A progressive ramp-up and commissioning of the remainder of the first train is expected to follow over the ensuing three months, with the objective of achieving full capacity on the first train by the end of Q1 2018.  Johnny Blizzard, Chief Executive Officer of Katanga, commented: "We are very pleased to have met our anticipated budget and timetable for commissioning the first train of our new plant and are optimistic that the tangible improvements from using a whole ore leach processing circuit will be seen in the near future. We look forward to ramping up to full production capacity of the first train. The construction of the second train of the WOL plant is also on schedule and budget and hot commissioning is still expected to commence in H2 2018."  Separately, the Company announces today that its board of directors has approved capital expenditure budgets for the engineering and construction of an upgraded cobalt processing plant (the "Cobalt Debottlenecking Project") and a sulphuric acid production plant at KCC, as described below.  The Board approved US$15.8 million in capital expenditures to engineer and construct a facility designed to reduce throughput bottlenecks in its existing cobalt processing circuit at KCC to align with the life of mine cobalt production plan of 30,000 tonnes per annum average annual cobalt production. The Board also approved US$49 million for cobalt product dryers as part of the cobalt production circuit. The hot commissioning of the projects are expected to commence in Q4 2018.  Subject to the successful completion of the second train of the WOL plant and of the Cobalt Debottlenecking Project, both of which hot commissioning is expected to commence in H2 2018, the Company anticipates the following production forecast for the next three financial years, at the end of which period, it expects to have a first quartile cost position within the global copper industry cost curve.  The Board also approved US$237 million in capital expenditure spread over 2018 and 2019 to construct a Sulphuric Acid and Sulphur Dioxide production plant at KCC. This will improve the reliability of the supply of these reagents to the WOL processing circuit. The acid plant is designed to produce 1,900 tpd of of Sulphuric Acid, 200 tpd of Suphur Dioxide and 17MW co-generated power. This will reduce KCC's reliance on imported volumes of reagents brought to the mine through various international borders. The Internal Rate Of Return (IRR) for the Sulphuric Acid and Sulphur Dioxide production plant project is expected to be approximately 60%. The hot commissioning of this plant is expected to commence in H2 2019.

September 11, 2015 - The company announced the decision to suspend the processing of copper and cobalt during the construction phases of the Whole Ore Leach project. The suspension continued throughout most of 2017 with copper production resuming upon completion of Phase 1 of the WOL Project on December 11, 2017; Phase 2 construction activities of the WOL project are progressing according to the 2018 project execution plan. Hot commissioning of the second train of the WOL project is expected to commence in Q4 2018; The cobalt production section of the plant was commissioned during March 2018 leading to the production of 525 tonnes of cobalt metal contained in hydroxide; and the low-grade solvent extraction train was commissioned and ramped up during Q1 2018, contributing to Q1 2018 production of 27,677 tonnes of copper cathode.

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