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Acid Plant Database  November 16, 2016

Owner Pan Pacific Copper Co., Ltd. - Saganoseki Smelter and Refinery

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Location 3-3382 Saganoseki
Oita-shi, Oita-ken
Background -
Website www.nikko-metal.co.jp
Plant Plant B Plant D Plant E
Coordinates 33º 15' 19" N, 131º 52' 20" E (approximate)
Type of Plant Metallurgical
Gas Source Copper - Outotec (Outokumpu) Flash Furnace
(4) P-S Converters
Plant Capacity 1100 MTPD
400 Nm3/h @12.5% SO2
740 MTPD
1150 Nm3/h @10.7% SO2
2160 MTPD
2800 Nm3/h @12.5% SO2
SA/DA 2/2 DA 2/2 DA 2/2 DA
Status Operating Shutdown Operating
Year Built   1982 - 1972
Technology Outotec (Lurgi) Outotec (Lurgi) Outotec (Lurgi)
Contractor - - Mitsubishi
Remarks 1996 - Integrated two flash furnaces into one.  Production increased to 450,000 mtpy of copper.
2006 - Pre-converter
- 1400 Nm3/min, 13.3% SO2
- Production increases: 760 to 1100 MTPD


2008 - Pre-converter
- 3000 Nm3/min, 13.3% SO2
- Production increases: 1650 to 1800 to 2160 MTPD
- Blower: 2 x 2300 kW
2004 - Interpass SO3 Cooler installed
pre 2013 - 2800 Nm3/h @12.5% SO2
2013 - Expansion of capacity from 2100 to 2900 MTPD
- new blower with VFD replaces 2 existing blowers
- Top bed expanded by increasing the height of the shell by 680 mm
- CRHX (4HEa/b) were replaced with a single HX to reduce pressure drop
General The Nippon Mining & Metals Group aims to use its business partnerships in the copper industry to create a federation of copper producers that provides world-class quality and volume, while maximizing partnership effectiveness.
Pan Pacific Copper Co., Ltd. (PPC) jointly established through an alliance between Nippon Mining & Metals and Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co., Ltd., integrated the domestic smelting and refining operations of both companies. Resources development, overseas smelting and refining, and other new overseas projects will be advanced primarily through PPC.
Nippon Mining & Metals is also leveraging its comprehensive business alliance between PPC and LS-Nikko Copper Inc., which was jointly formed with the LS Group of Korea and Japan Korea Joint Smelting Co., Ltd., established with Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co., Ltd. as a major shareholder. Through these units, the Nippon Mining & Metals Group is aiming to become a global integrated copper producer.

PPC is involved in the entire series of production processes, from the smelting of the Copper Concentrate to the production of Refined Copper, which is supplied by Nikko Smelting & Refining and Hibi Kyodo Smelting.

There are three production bases: Saganoseki Smelter & Refinery and Hitachi Works of NMM, and Tamano Smelter of Hibi Kyodo Smelting Co., Ltd., Each of these smelters boasts advanced technical capabilities, cost competitiveness and productivity that are ranked in the top level of the global smelting industry, and each satisfies the most rigorous domestic environmental standards. Aggregate production capacity of Refined Copper totals 710 thousand tons per year (Saganoseki and Hitachi 450 thousand tons, and Tamano 260 thousand tons), which is the largest in Japan and also one of the largest in the world. What is more, the output has gained an excellent reputation in the market for product quality.

References Kamino, Y., Sato, S., Shimokaw, K. and Chida, H., "Efficiency Improvement at the Sulfuric Acid Plant of the Saganoseki Smelter, Copper 2016, Kobe, Japan.

February 1, 2012 - Pan Pacific Copper, Japan's biggest copper smelter, said on Wednesday its Saganoseki facility in southern Japan would reopen on Feb. 14 after closing due to a fire on Jan. 7.  Production lost during the period is estimated at 30,000 tonnes, but there will be no impact on delivery due to ample inventories of anode, a company executive said.

January 10, 2012 - Pan Pacific Copper, Japan's biggest copper smelter, said on Tuesday it suspended operations at its 200,000 tonnes per year Saganoseki smelter on Jan. 7 after a fire damaged an electric power substation on the site.  The company is checking when it can resume operations at the plant in Oita, southeast Japan, and whether its other smelter and refining plants in Japan can make up for lost production, a spokesman said.  The Saganoseki plant produces anode, an intermediate state of refined copper, for refining at its Hitachi plant.  "We can't say for now when we can start operations at the Saganoseki plant. It all depends on when we can secure parts for damaged electronics machines," said a company spokesman.  "But we have ample inventories of anode for the time being," he said.  Asia's premiums for spot refined copper could rise if there is a prolonged suspension at Pan Pacific, an exporter to China, Taiwan and South Korea, prompting its term buyers to turn to the spot market.  A copper buyer for Pan Pacific Copper's metal in China said no information had been received from the Japanese supplier on whether the fire would delay term refined metal shipments.  "From our experience, they are likely to buy copper from the spot market for term deliveries if that is the case," the buyer said.  Pan Pacific signed contracts last October to supply a total of 110,000 tonnes of refined copper to customers in China, Taiwan and South Korea at a premium of around $100 above the London Metal Exchange cash price for shipments in 2012.  Premiums for bonded copper in Shanghai traded at about $120-$140 a tonne over cash LME copper prices last week.  An industry official said he did not expect a large impact on the domestic market from the shutdown, given a relatively high level of inventories of refined copper.  Domestic inventories of refined copper at smelters stood at 93,639 tonnes at the end of November, against November output of 112,305 tonnes, according to the Japan Mining Industry Association.  Sluggish demand for refined copper had helped push up domestic inventories from the 68,000 tonnes level in 2010.  Pan Pacific, part of JX Holdings Inc, has a refining plant in Hitachi in east Japan and a smelter and refining plant in Okayama in the south of the country. The company has a total output capacity of 710,000 tonnes a year.  Pan Pacific plans to produce 272,400 tonnes of refined copper in the six months to March 31.

October 5, 2009 - Japan's largest copper smelter Pan Pacific Copper Ltd., or PPC, said Wednesday its projected 1.6% on-year fall in copper output in the second half of fiscal 2009-10 to 286,000 metric tons is due to tight supply of copper concentrate, its key raw material.  Yoshihiro Nishiyama, director at Pan Pacific, said limited supplies of copper concentrate from mining suppliers meant they would be unable to build up sufficient copper anode inventory ahead of a maintenance shutdown at its Saganoseki smelter to maintain production of copper cathode (refined copper) at the same level as the first half.   "The Saganoseki smelter is going to shut down for periodical maintenance during November and we could not pile up anode inventory to fulfill tankhouse operations during this time due to limited supply of raw materials," he said.   PPC's preliminary estimate of first-half (April to September inclusive) output of copper cathode is 298,800 tons, implying output will be 4.3% lower in the second half.   Nishiyama said sulfuric acid (a byproduct of the smelting process) storage wasn't a factor in the lower refined copper output projection.  "The demand and supply balance for acid in Japan is tighter than we expected," he said.  He said many sulfuric acid suppliers had scheduled shutdowns in the fourth quarter of 2009 at the same time as domestic demand was in the process of normalizing.  "Overseas demand is also steady due to the high season for the fertilizer industry," he said.   Sulfuric acid is a key raw material for the production of phosphoric acid, used for manufacture of phosphate fertilizers.  PPC is operated as a joint venture by Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co. and Nippon Mining & Metals Co.

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