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Sulphuric Acid - NEWS


Updated May 4, 2022




Earthworks start for new 500 000 t/y Kamoa copper smelter 
Itafos Announces Resumption of Sulfuric Acid Production and Sales at Arraias
Elessent Clean Technologies Increases Global MECS® Catalyst Prices
Elessent acquires DuPont’s Clean Technologies business

2020   2021

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Earthworks start for new 500 000 t/y Kamoa copper smelter

May 3, 2022 - In its endeavours to ramp up copper production and become the third-largest copper producer, diversified miner Ivanhoe Mines has started earthworks on a 500 000 t/y direct-to-blister flash smelter at its Democratic Republic of Congo- (DRC-) based and 39.6%-owned Kamoa-Kakula copper
 mining complex.  The smelter – with a nameplate capacity to produce 99%-pure blister copper – has been sized to process most of the copper concentrate forecast to be produced by Kamoa-Kakula's Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 concentrators.  The smelter will be built adjacent to the Phase 1 and 2 concentrator plants and is designed to use technology supplied by Metso Outotec, meeting the International Finance Corporation’s emissions standards.  In late 2021, Kamoa Copper awarded engineering company China Nerin Engineering the basic engineering contract for the planned smelter.  Ivanhoe notes that Nerin actively promotes the advancement of smelting technology through its own research and development, and establishing various partnerships with global industry peers, including Metso Outotec.  Once in operation, the smelter is expected to enable Kamoa-Kakula to reduce its cash costs per pound of payable copper produced by about 10% to 20%, driven by significantly reduced transportation costs, reducing overall volumes shipped by more than half, as well as more favourable tax treatment, and the recovery and sale of sulphuric acid as a by-product revenue.  Ivanhoe says there is strong demand and a market for sulphuric acid in the DRC to recover copper from oxide ores. Copper mines in the region currently import significant volumes of sulphur used in sulphur-burning acid plants to produce sulphuric acid for the treatment of oxide copper ores. The DRC also imports sulphuric acid, primarily from Zambia.  The Phase 3 expansion of Kamoa-Kakula complex is also on track to take the mine into third place on a global copper production scale, increasing yearly copper production capacity to about 600 000 t by the fourth quarter of 2024.  Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 3 will consist of two new underground mines known as Kamoa 1 and Kamoa 2, as well as the initial decline development at Kakula West.A new, five-million-tonne-a-year concentrator plant will be established adjacent to the two new mines at Kamoa, taking total processing capacity to more than 14-million tonnes a year.  Going forward, the existing Phase 1 and 2 concentrators will be de-bottlenecked and operating at a combined throughput of 9.2-million tonnes a year by the second quarter of 2023, which is expected to increase Kamoa-Kakula’s copper production to more than 450 000 t/y.  Meanwhile, negotiations for an amendment to Kamoa-Kakula’s offtake arrangements for Phase 2 production are nearly complete, with copper product currently being shipped under existing, Phase 1 agreements.  Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 3 expansion will be powered by hydroelectricity through Kamoa Copper’s Inga II partnership, which is expected to generate an additional 178 MW of renewable hydropower for the DRC.  Ivanhoe co-chairperson Robert Friedland says that, along with its joint venture partner Zijin Mining, Ivanhoe is resolved to expedite future expansion phases at Kamoa-Kakula to meet rapidly rising copper demand, create profitable growth for shareholders, and long-lasting economic and social benefits for the Congolese nation and people.

Itafos Announces Resumption of Sulfuric Acid Production and Sales at Arraias

February 8, 2022 - Itafos Inc. announced today the resumption of sulfuric acid production and sales at Arraias. The recommissioning of the previously idled sulfuric acid plant was completed on schedule, within budget and with no reportable environmental releases or recordable incidents.  “We are pleased to have safely and successfully completed the recommissioning of the sulfuric acid plant at Arraias. While we continue to evaluate strategic alternatives for Arraias, we are opportunistically restarting the sulfuric acid plant to supply market demand and deliver positive margins,” said G. David Delaney, CEO of Itafos.  Arraias’ sulfuric acid plant has production capacity of 220kt per year. The Company expects to operate the sulfuric acid plant at Arraias with a base load capacity of approximately 10.5kt per month. Arraias has secured short-term sulfuric acid offtake agreements for its base load capacity with pricing linked to sulfur benchmarks. Based on market demand, the Company expects to opportunistically produce additional volumes of sulfuric acid to be sold on the spot market.  The remainder of the infrastructure associated with Arraias’ vertically integrated phosphate fertilizer business, including its mine, beneficiation plant, acidulation plant and granulation plant remain idled following best practices.

Elessent Clean Technologies Increases Global MECS® Catalyst Prices

February 4, 2022 - Elessent Clean Technologies has announced an additional global price increase of $0.30/liter for its MECS ® sulfuric acid catalyst products. Additional surcharges may apply for freight, near term delivery and specialty product grades. Subject to the terms of applicable contracts, the new pricing will take effect immediately.

Elessent acquires DuPont’s Clean Technologies business

January 1, 2022 - 1 January 2022 marked the beginning for Elessent Clean Technologies as an international private equity consortium, consisting of BroadPeak Global LP, Asia Green Fund (AGF) and The Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Company (Dussur).  The international private equity consortium also completed its transaction to purchase the Clean Technologies business of DuPont de Nemours Inc. on 31 December 2021.Elessent Clean Technologies is a global leader in process technologies to drive sustainability and carbon neutrality in the metal, fertilizer, chemical and oil refining industries. Elessent retains exclusive rights to the technologies, expertise, products, and services including: MECS
® sulfuric acid and environmental technologies, BELCO® scrubbing technologies, STRATCO® alkylation technology and IsoTherming® hydroprocessing technology.“We are excited about what the future holds for us as a standalone company,” said Elessent CEO, Eli Ben-Shoshan, “The strong global expertise of the Group will accelerate our mission to deliver the technology and tailored solutions our customers need to more efficiently produce cleaner products for the world.”The name ‘Elessent’ is derived from the words ‘element’ and ‘essential’. From the production of carbonless energy to the production of sulfuric acid for the metals and fertilizer industries, and from removal of sulfur from refined oil products to air pollution control, Elessent creates clean alternatives to traditional industrial processes to minimise the impact on the environment while enabling its customers to produce essential elements critical to everyday life.