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Sulphuric Acid - NEWS - 2003

Boliden and Outokumpu to create a world-leading mining and smelting company
Outokumpu Technology receives order from Bandirma Gübre Fabrikalari AS (Bagfas)
Southern Peru Copper Corporation starts the modernization project of its Ilo smelter
Falconbridge announces one-month extension to previously announced shutdown of zinc refinery at Kidd Metallurgical site
Noranda's Altonorte Copper Smelter
General Chemical Corporation Announces Decommission of Delaware Valley Sulphuric Acid Plant
Outokumpu to modernize the Odda Zinc Plant

Boliden and Outokumpu to create a world-leading mining and smelting company

September 2003 - Boliden and Outokumpu have signed a Letter of Intent whereby Boliden intends to acquire Outokumpu's mining and smelting operations within zinc and copper and to sell its Fabrication and Technology Sales units to Outokumpu. Through the transaction, Outokumpu will become a major shareholder in New Boliden.

As a result of the transaction, New Boliden will become one of the world's leading smelting companies and the fourth largest zinc mining company in the world. The combination will also create a stronger company with increased financial and operational flexibility and potential for future growth.

The assets, which Boliden intends to acquire from Outokumpu will double the size of Boliden, and are:
- Tara zinc mine in Ireland;
- Zinc smelters in Kokkola, Finland and in Odda, Norway;
- Outokumpu Zinc Commercial in the Netherlands;
- Copper smelter in Harjavalta, Finland; and
- Copper refinery in Pori, Finland.

The assets to be acquired from Outokumpu are valued at EUR 736 million (SEK 6.7 billion)

In order to streamline its operations Boliden intends to sell its Fabrication and Technology Sales units to Outokumpu. These assets generated net sales of EUR 270 million (SEK 2.5 billion) in 2002, and comprise:
- Boliden Fabrication (copper tubes and brass products) in Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Britain; and
- Boliden Contech (technology sales) in Sweden.

Outokumpu Technology receives order from Bandirma Gübre Fabrikalari AS (Bagfas)

Outokumpu Technology has received an order from Bandirma Gübre Fabrikalari AS (Bagfas), a producer of NPK fertilisers in Turkey, to revamp the existing sulphuric acid plant in Bandirma. The value of the contract is about EUR 23 million. Outokumpu Technology's scope covers the supply of engineering services, equipment, installation and supervision of commissioning. The modernisation will be completed by September 2004. After the completion of the overhaul the plant will produce 1650 tonnes of sulphuric acid per day.

Southern Peru Copper Corporation starts the modernization project of its Ilo smelter

Lima, July 21, 2003 -- Southern Peru Copper Corporation has selected the technology and engineering firm to start the capital investment project at its Ilo smelter. The project will improve copper production and capture more than 92% of SO2 by 2007, thus fully complying with the PAMA (Environmental Management and Compliance Program), approved by the Peruvian Government.

During the past decade, SPCC has invested more than $309 million in environmental projects. SPCC has already fulfilled 31 of the 34 mitigation measures included in the PAMA. In November 2002, the Peruvian government approved the completion of all the PAMA's commitments related to SPCC's operations in Cuajone and Toquepala. The three pending measures are for operations in Ilo.

SPCC received several proposals from international engineering and construction firms and has completed its evaluation. Fluor-Xstrata has offered the best proposal considering the technical, construction and financial of this expansion and modernization project of the Ilo smelter.

The project will be developed in two or three phases, depending on the evolution of international copper markets, in order to assure, during the first, the commitment of complying with capturing 92% of SO2, and, subsequently achieve the increase of production. This has been put into consideration of the Ministry of Energy and Mines.  It is estimated that the construction of the project will take no more than 36 months and it will be completed before January 2007, the deadline established in the PAMA.

The Ilo smelter modernization project is part of the Company's $1 billion capital investment program. SPCC's President and General Director, Eng. Oscar Gonzalez Rocha, announced "the Company is a responsible organization that complies with its environmental commitments, and the selected technology meets the requirements of the PAMA, agreed to with the Peruvian Government in 1997". He also stated that "SPCC will complete the project by January 2007 the deadline originally imposed for the modernization of the Plant".

With the decision to start the project, a letter of intent has been signed with Flour-Xstrata to immediately proceed with the basic engineering, which will detail the project and the cost of the investment, after which construction will commence.

Falconbridge announces one-month extension to previously announced shutdown of zinc refinery at Kidd Metallurgical site

TORONTO, April 29 /CNW/ - Falconbridge Limited today announced that zinc refining operations located at the Kidd Metallurgical site in Timmins, Ontario, will shut down for 13 weeks this summer, from June 29th to September 30th, for market and supply-related reasons. This revises earlier announced plans for an 8 to 9 week shutdown.  "The anticipated recovery of zinc metal markets early in 2003 is simply not taking place," said Daniel Picard, General Manager of the Kidd Metallurgical Division. "Conditions in the marketplace of persistent low treatment charges, combined with recent changes in currency exchange rates and higher energy costs relative to our concentrate purchase and metal sales positions, have led us to conclude that the best course of action is to extend the outage," Picard added. Falconbridge plans to fully supply its zinc customer sales commitments during the entire shutdown period.  The company will reassign a portion of the zinc refinery employees to vacation relief in other parts of the Metallurgical Division, which includes a
concentrator, copper smelter and refinery and support departments. "We will also use our own employees to perform scheduled annual maintenance work in both the smelter and zinc operations, and employees will take their vacation during the shutdown. However despite this, there will be some temporary layoffs," Picard said.  As a result of this decision, total zinc production for 2003 has been
revised down to 110,000 tonnes from 145,000 tonnes. The Company will continue to re-evaluate market forecasts and the profitability of Kidd Metallurgical Division's zinc business. Picard commented, "We are studying all aspects of our zinc operations and will make the appropriate business decisions based on the outcome of these analyses." The Kidd zinc operation has 295 employees.

Noranda's Altonorte Copper Smelter

TORONTO, April 16, 2003 - Noranda Inc. announced today that its Altonorte copper smelter, located near the city of Antofagasta in northern Chile, successfully completed the second full month of its Phase III expansion start- up. As a result, the facility is operating near design capacity and it has achieved its design operating costs as a stable, reliable custom copper smelting operation.

Altonorte began its ramp-up process in January 2003, when its new No. 3 acid plant went into operation. The US$170 million expansion project was designed to more than double Altonorte's capacity to treat copper concentrate from 385,000 to 820,000 tonnes per year. Copper production will increase from 160,000 to 290,000 tonnes per year and by-product sulphuric acid will go from 220,000 to 700,000 tonnes per year.

Upon completion of the ramp-up period, the Altonorte facility will become the eighth-largest copper smelter in the world. The smelter is strategically located in a region where there are large producers of copper concentrate and customers for sulphuric acid.

In addition to the increase in production capacity, the Phase III expansion has significantly improved the smelter's overall environmental performance.

"With the start-up of No. 3 acid plant, we have increased the sulphur capture to better than 93%, which is the design target and its capacity permits us to close the old No. 1 acid plant," added Petersmeyer. "And thanks to Altonorte's location in the Atacama desert, all liquid wastes are treated and the smelter will continue to have no discharge to the environment. This expansion will ensure that the smelter's environmental performance will continue to meet Chilean environmental regulations and Noranda's own environmental policy."

Built in 1993 and acquired 100% by Noranda in 1998, the Altonorte smelter is located in one of the highest growth areas for copper mine development in the world. The smelter processed over 452,000 tonnes of material in 2002 compared to 387,000 tonnes in 2001. It also produced 323,000 tonnes of sulphuric acid in 2002 over 230,000 in 2001.

General Chemical Corporation Announces Decommission of Delaware Valley Sulphuric Acid Plant

PARSIPPANY, NEW JERSEY, February 28, 2003 -- General Chemical Corporation, a subsidiary of GenTek Inc., announced plans to decommission the sulfuric acid production operation located at its Delaware Valley facility in Claymont, Del. The sulfuric acid operation is expected to cease production on or about Sept. 30, 2003. Business as usual will continue until the decommissioning occurs.

The decision came after a thorough review and analysis of our options and alternatives. Unfortunately, a number of factors, including rising costs of operation, the age and inefficiency of the plant and its infrastructure and increasing competitive pressures, ultimately drove us to this decision.


For the employees and their families who are affected by the closure, General Chemical is providing several programs specifically designed to assist them during this transition.


To minimize the impact on its sulfuric acid regeneration and merchant acid customers, General Chemical has made arrangements to continue to offer service to these customers through its four other sulfuric acid facilities, supplemented by agreements with certain strategic partners. General Chemical representatives will discuss the details of these arrangements with customers individually.

Other operations at Delaware Valley, including the production of sulfur, fluorine, potassium and ammonia-based compounds and warehousing, distribution and transportation operations, will continue.


The company has developed a plan for the safe and orderly decommissioning of the sulfuric acid facility, and will comply with all applicable environmental and other legal obligations with respect to the decommissioning of the facility and any required remediation of the property.



Outokumpu to modernize the Odda Zinc Plant

January 15, 2003 - Outokumpu will modernize the production process of its Odda Zinc Plant in Norway. The older roasting plant will be replaced by the direct leaching process developed by Outokumpu. The investment amounting to approx. EUR 88 million will be spread over 2003 and 2004, and is part of the Group's capex programme as annouced in the Q3/2002 report. Work at the Odda Zinc Plant will start immediately and the project will be completed in the autumn of 2004. The construction phase will not cause any significant production losses.

The Odda plant is already at present among the most cost efficient quartile of zinc plants in the world. The direct leaching process of zinc concentrates developed by Outokumpu will further improve the cost efficiency of the production. The new direct leaching process will, among other things, enable the use of a wider quality range of zinc concentrates and will lay the foundation for the utilization of modern, cost efficient technology also in a possible future expansion of production. The direct leaching process has been in use at Outokumpu's Kokkola zinc plant since 1998.

The modernization will increase the concentrate feed capacity of the Odda plant by about 10%. The project will secure the Odda plant as one of the world's most environmentally sound zinc plants. The present annual production capacity of Odda is 150 000 tonnes of zinc and that of Kokkola 260 000 tonnes.