First Quantum shuts Australia
nickel plant after acid spill
December 15, 2014 - Canada's First Quantum Minerals has shut its
38,000-tonnes-per-year Ravensthorpe nickel plant in Australia
following an acid spill, which is under investigation. The
rupture of a one of several tanks containing sulphuric acid used to
leach nickel late on Sunday caused an undetermined amount of the
hazardous slurry to spill into a contained area of the plant 550
kilometres (340 miles) southeast of Perth in Western Australia
state, company spokesman Dave Coggin said. Coggin could not
immediately say if a declaration of force majeure would be invoked
protecting First Quantum from interruptions to sales obligations.
"The spill resulting from the failure has been contained within the
plant's protective bunded area," Coggin said, adding that there were
no reports of injuries, with all staff accounted for. Sulphuric acid
for the leaching process is produced on site. "The plant is
currently shut down and on the basis of information received to
date, no adverse environmental effects are anticipated," he said.
While all staff have remained on site, no date has been set for a
restart, pending the findings of the investigation, according to the
spokesman. First Quantum acquired the Ravensthorpe nickel
project from BHP Billiton in 2009 and following extensive
rehabilitation restarted the operation in 2011. This year, the
facility was set to meet it full production target of 38,000 tonnes,
according to the spokesman. LME nickel prices were up 0.3
percent on Monday. Any market impact in metals markets from the
shutdown is likely to be muted in the short term given a global
supply glut of the metal, used mainly in making stainless steel.
Near-record inventories of more than 400,000 tonnes are stacked in
London Metal Exchange warehouses. BHP continues to produce
nickel at an annual rate of close to 100,000 tonnes at its nearby
Nickel West operation. Glencore also operates a nickel-making plant
in Western Australia, churning out more than 30,000 tonnes a year.
Raw nickel produced at the Ravensthorpe site is bought primarily by
metals refining companies in China and India.
Jiahua link in electronics-grade sulfuric acid project in China
December 15, 2014 - BASF and Jiahua Energy
Chemical Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Huafang Textile Co., have
signed an agreement to set up a new sulfuric acid plant at the
seaport town of Zhapu, Zhejiang Province, China. BASF will begin the
groundwork to build its new electronics-grade sulfuric acid
production facility at the Jiahua production site at Zhapu. Jiahua
will be the key raw material supplier for the new BASF plant.
Construction is scheduled to begin within the next year and the
plant is expected to start up in 2016.
Outotec to revamp and upgrade the Potrerillos copper smelter and
sulfuric acid plant for Codelco in Chile
December 8, 2014 - Outotec to revamp and upgrade the
Potrerillos copper smelter and sulfuric acid plant for Codelco in
Chile Outotec has been awarded a contract to revamp and upgrade
the Potrerillos copper smelter and sulfuric acid plant of Codelco
Salvador Division in northern Chile, in order to comply with the new
Chilean environmental regulations that are due to come into force in
2018. The value of the order is approximately EUR 64 million, of
which one third has been booked in Outotec's third quarter order
intake and the rest in the fourth quarter 2014 order
intake. Outotec's scope of delivery includes detailed engineering of
the revamp, equipment supply and technical assistance during the
construction, commissioning and start up of the smelter and acid
plant. Equipment deliveries consist of, among other things, gas
collecting hoods for the existing converters, revamp of the dry
electrostatic and wet precipitators and gas ducts, a catalytic
converter and an effluent treatment plant with additional water
management plant equipment. "This is a good example of how Codelco
and Outotec work together, combining their efforts to secure
business sustainability and the necessary care of environment in a
profitable way", said Kimmo Kontola, head of Outotec'sAmericas
region. "Through advanced technology we can extend the life cycle of
our customers' facilities. Specialized technical services are always
part of a long-term business relationship with our customers,
providing added value beyond equipment supply", added Robin Lindahl,
head of Outotec's Metals, Energy & Water business area.
Mississippi Phosphates to stop fertilizer production,
December 5, 2014 - Mississippi Phosphates, a major fertilizer
producer in east Jackson County that has been plagued with
environmental issues in recent years, announced today it will be
stopping production of Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) early next week.
Sulfuric acid operations will continue for several days in order for
the company to establish inventory needed to support on-going
wastewater treatment needs, a statement from the company said.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court in Gulfport in October. The company, which
employs about 200, announced a new CEO in August and that it had
moved its corporate headquarters to the Pascagoula plant, located
along the heavily industrial Bayou Casotte. A spokesman for
Mississippi Phosphates, a wholly owned subsidiary of Phosphate
Holdings, Inc., said sulfuric acid operations will continue at the
plant for several days in order for the company to establish
inventory needed to support on-going wastewater treatment needs.
A landmark of the plant is the huge piles of spent sulfuric acid
byproduct, an industrial type of gypsum, the acidic runoff of which
must be maintained by a wastewater system. State and federal
environmental agencies have expressed concern that if the company
failed, maintaining the spent sulfuric acid stacks would become an
expensive proposition. "The company will continue with other
aspects of its core operations, including ammonia terminaling
operations, maintenance, security and environmental controls," said
Mississippi Phosphates CEO Steve Russo. "At this time, we do not
know when DAP production might resume. The company is actively
seeking buyers for its assets while we continue to move forward with
the other elements of our bankruptcy case." Workforce
reductions will occur over the next two weeks, with approximately 50
employees remaining on hand to perform the remaining core
operations. On Tuesday, Mississippi Phosphates and
representatives from the state held workforce transition meetings
for all employees who were laid off at the company's Pascagoula
facilities to assist them in finding jobs. Mississippi
Phosphates is a Delaware corporation that operates the facilities in
Pascagoula that produces DAP, the most common form of phosphate
fertilizer for all major row crops, and sulfuric acid, as well as
for the storage and terminalling of ammonia and sulfuric acid.
Solvay sells sulphuric
acid supplying Eco Services segment to CCMP Capital Advisors
The Belgian chemicals company has spun
off the sulphuric acid refining and producing segment as part of a
strategic drive to increase returns on its assets. CCMP will take
over a successful unit, which supplies to some of the largest
refineries in the US. New York, US-headquartered CCMP Capital
Advisors LLC has acquired the sulphuric acid producing Eco Services
business unit of Brussels, Belgium-based Solvay SA. CCMP said
that the New Jersey, US-headquartered Eco Services unit, which had
2013 revenues of €288m ($357.1m*) will continue to manufacture
fresh, high purity sulphuric acid products.
Capital Advisors (CCMP) has completed its acquisition of Solvay's
Eco Services business for $890m. The sale forms part of
Solvay's strategy to achieve higher growth and greater returns.
Headquartered in Cranbury, New Jersey, US, the sulphuric acid virgin
production and regeneration business recycles spent sulphuric acid
and supplies it to refineries in the West Coast, Midwest, the Gulf
of Mexico and Canada. The Eco Services company caters to
mining, water treatment and other chemical processing segments, from
its six manufacturing plants. The company generated revenues
of €288m in 2013 and has a workforce of more than 500. In
July, Solvay and CCMP signed an agreement for the acquisition
transaction. Solvay CEO Jean-Pierre Clamadieu earlier said:
"Eco Services has a market-leading position and generates stable
cash flows, but its business profile differs from Solvay's strategic
ambitions. "CCMP Capital is committed to working with the
management team to make the investments necessary to support the
long-term growth of the business." CCMP is focused on equity
investments of about $500m in North American and European markets,
and primarily invests in consumer / retail, industrial, energy and
healthcare sectors. Meanwhile, Solvay said it has increased
its resin production capacity by 25% at its facility in the state of
Gujarat, India, to meet the demand for polymers.
White Springs firm part of $50
million settlement over federal pollution claim
November 6, 2014 - Federal officials said Thursday they struck a
deal with a fertilizer company that owns plants in White Springs and
in two other states to spend about $50 million improving
air-pollution controls.The settlement with the Canadian firm Potash
Corp. of Saskatchewan was sparked by complaints that White Springs
Agricultural Chemicals Inc. and two other subsidiaries in Louisiana
and North Carolina violated the Clean Air Act at plants that made
sulfuric acid.White Springs is in Hamilton County along the Suwannee
River, just over an hour’s drive west of Jacksonville off Interstate
10. The area meets federal clean-air standards.The agreement “will
ensure cleaner air for citizens across the Southeast and will send a
strong signal to the industry that noncompliance has serious
consequences,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Sam Hirsch
from the Justice Department’s environmental division.In addition to
the plant improvements, the settlement requires the plant owners to
pay a $1.3 million fine.The deal was the largest agreement so far
between the government and sulfuric acid producers, whose factories
release sulfur dioxide in their emissions.“Large industrial
facilities that break the law and pollute the air will be held
accountable,” Cynthia Giles, an assistant administrator at the U.S.
Environmental Protection Administration, said via email.Improvements
on the pollution controls are expected to prevent release of 12,600
tons of sulfur dioxide emissions yearly at the plants, according to
the EPA, as well as 430 tons of ammonia and 60 tons of nitrogen
oxide.A suit the government filed Thursday in Louisiana said the
plants operated for years without the “best available control
technology.”About $14 million will be spent at White Springs on new
controls for two plants, said company spokesman Mike Williams. He
said the company disagreed with EPA’s complaint, but decided
reaching the agreement matched the company’s sense of environmental
stewardship. He said the White Springs plants met their permit
Potash Ridge Enters Into Offtake and Marketing Arrangement
for Sulphuric Acid Production from Its Blawn Mountain Sulphate of
October 3, 2014 - Potash Ridge Corporation today announced that
a subsidiary of Potash Ridge has entered into a non-binding
Memorandum of Understanding regarding a potential offtake and
marketing arrangement with a third party marketer for the
sulphuric acid production from its Blawn Mountain Project.
Under the terms of the Arrangement, Potash Ridge will grant
either exclusive marketing rights or offtake for 100% of its
sulphuric acid production to the Marketer, on such terms and
conditions as may be agreed upon by both parties and subject to
execution of definitive agreements. Guy Bentinck,
President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are delighted
to have entered into this arrangement with a highly regarded
third party sulphuric acid marketer. This arrangement
represents yet another significant step in executing the
commercial aspects of the Project and reflects the robust demand
and growth for sulphuric acid in the United States."
Calabrian Announces SO2
September 25, 2014 -
Calabrian Corporation, the largest prime producer of liquid sulfur
dioxide and related derivatives in North America, announced that
effective Oct. 15, or when permissible by contract, it will increase
the price of sulfur dioxide by $100 per short ton. The increase is
reflective of the sulfur dioxide market, which has tightened
considerably, as a result of strong demand and reduced availability
of byproduct material. "This price increase will
support our continued investment in our SO2 and
derivatives business," said Jeffrey Hammerstrom, director of
business development. "Our expansion of SO2 production
will enable Calabrian to provide our customers with a reliable, on
purpose, source of sulfur dioxide to meet their needs and allow
Calabrian to strengthen its market leading position in SO2,
sodium metabisulfite, and other sulfur derivatives."
In July, Calabrian announced plans to expand production of SO2 at
its Port Neches, Texas, plant. The multimillion-dollar expansion,
using the company's proprietary SO2Clean technology, is expected to
be online by the end of the year.
Namibia: Dundee Invests N$3 Billion to
Reduce Sulphuric Acid Emissions
September 24, 2014 - Dundee Precious Metals in Tsumeb has
welcomed the release of the recent government medical report which
independently assessed the health of more than 1 700 past and
present smelter workers. Dundee has invested over
N$3 billion in modern arsenic-handling facilities and in a sulphuric
acid (SO2) manufacturing plant to reduce SO2 emissions.
Dundee has worked with the government and the health
assessment team since the survey was announced in 2011.
"We are committed to implementing the recommendations of the
report to further minimise health impacts on our workers and the
community," said Hans Nolte, the general manager at Dundee. The
company acquired the smelter in 2010. "There are
no cases of cancer attributable to arsenic exposure or any other
employment-related exposure at the smelter. This is contrary to some
media reports which have misquoted the report," he said.
Nolte said besides skin rashes being potentially linked in
some cases to individual arsenic exposure sensitivity, the survey
found no other potential arsenic-related occupational health
problems such as lung, liver, blood, or other occupational diseases.
"There are incidences of occupationally induced skin rashes.
Dundee has medical and operational protocols in place to deal with
skin rashes whether caused by arsenic exposure or the use of
personal protective equipment in hot and humid conditions," he said.
Nolte said there are a number of long-term employees or
ex-employees with hearing loss which may be occupational. In cases
where this hearing loss is confirmed by independent tests to be
linked to the smelter, employees will be assessed for compensation
under Dundee's government- and union-mandated policies, he said.
Health problems unrelated to occupational exposure were
reported among the surveyed employees, he said.
"Dundee believes that the health impact of the smelter is low and is
declining continually and significantly," he said.
ASARCO plans $100 million upgrade of
Hayden smelter to meet new EPA sulfur dioxide emission limits;
Project not expected to disrupt operation of plant or employees’
August 27, 2014
- Plans for a $110 million upgrade of the Hayden copper smelter that
will bring the apparatus in compliance with new federal regulations
concerning emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) have been filed by
owner ASARCO/Grupo Mexico with the Arizona Department of
Environmental Quality (ADEQ).
The rules issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) require that SO2 emissions from the smelter be reduced from
140 ppb (parts per billion) to 75 ppd during a 24-hour period. The
Hayden smelter has until Oct. 3, 2018 to meet this standard.
Meeting the standard is important to keep the Hayden copper
smelting plant operating and providing employment for residents of
the Hayden/Winkleman area.
To meet EPA’s goal, the plan ASARCO filed on June 24 with
ADEQ describes a converter retrofit project that will replace the
smelter’s five current 13-ft. diameter converters with three 15-ft.
diameter converters. Also included in the plan are the installation
of improved primary and secondary hoods, and an electrostatic
precipitator for solids removal prior to SO2 recapture at the
smelter’s existing acid plants. Larger ladles (300 cu. ft. instead
of 200 cu. ft.) will be installed to reduce the number of hot metal
transfers. Additional upgrades will capture secondary gases and
direct them to the acid plant for conversion to a sulfuric acid
product. Overall the
plan aims to reduce SO2 emissions at the Hayden smelter by 85
percent, with a total SO2 capture rate of 99.7 percent of what is
produced during the copper smelting process.
The plans were made public during a meeting of the Arizona
House Committee on Energy, Environment and Natural Resources held
Aug. 22 at the Gila Community College Pueblo Campus in Globe.
ADEQ is expected to rule on the ASARCO plan by late
September. If approved the plan will then go to EPA for an
additional 45-day comment period. With EPA approval, ASARCO could
begin work on the upgrades before year’s end.
Work on the converter retrofit will be performed as to not disrupt
the operation of the smelter and keep all employees working their
regular daily schedules, said Krishna Parameswaran, director of
environmental services and compliance assurances at ASARCO. The
smelting plant must operate within the EPA emission limits by Oct.
3, 2018. The smelter and
surrounding operations are an important parts of the Hayden economy.
It employs 1,400 hourly and salaried workers, who are annually paid
$140.8 million in wages, salaries and fringe benefits. The
operations also generate $28.6 million in property, severance and
sales taxes. The company annually generates spending of $345.8
million on materials, fuel and supplies into the Arizona economy.
Each year the Hayden smelter produces more than 300 million
tons of copper that is important in all electrical products,
electronic equipment, and even bringing electricity to homes,
according to Kelly Norton, president of the Arizona Mining
Association. The smelter also products more than 575,000 short tons
of sulfuric acid each year.
Although originally built in 1912, the Hayden smelter has been
expanded and upgraded on a regular basis, with the last major
renovations taking place in 1989 and 1996. In 2012, ASARCO
voluntarily undertook a $10 million project to reduce lead emissions
through the addition of a monitor system to keep lead emissions to
within EPA rules issued in 2008 that trimmed allowable emission
levels to one-tenth of the former standard.
The EPA-required Hayden smelter renovation projects comes
only a step behind a more expensive project for the smelter in Miami
owned by Freeport-McMoRan. Budgeted at $450 million, the Miami
smelter will receive new converter mouth covers, converter aisle
canopy hoods and aisle scrubbers, an anode plant bag house and a
smelter furnace upgrade to meet EPA SO2 emission limits.
Freeport-McMoRan received its permit on July 21 and has begun
renovation work that could be completed by the end of 2017. The
Miami smelter, which was originally built in 1915, also has
undergone numerous upgrades, expansions and renovations in the
emphasized at the meeting that copper smelting is an important
contributor to the Arizona economy. At present there are only three
copper smelting plants in the US and two are in Arizona (Hayden and
Miami). The third is in Salt Lake County, UT, Norton noted.
China General Nuclear Plans Acid Plant at Namibian Uranium
August 20, 2014 - China General Nuclear Power Holding Corp., the
country’s biggest producer of nuclear energy, will start building a
sulfuric-acid plant next month at its Husab uranium mine in Namibia.
The facility will have capacity to produce 1,500 metric tons of acid
daily, or about 500,000 tons annually, Grant Marais, a spokesman for
CGNP’s Namibian unit Swakop Uranium, said yesterday in an e-mailed
response to questions. Sulfuric acid is used to extract metal from
ore. Uranium is a fuel for nuclear energy. Namibia is the largest
uranium producer after Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia. “The
plant will be ready to produce when the processing plant comes on
stream end of 2015,” Marais said. The cost of the facility ‘is
classified but falls well within the budgeted total project cost,’’
he said. Husab will use all the output from the planned plant and
any additional needs “would be supplemented through imports,” he
said. The $2 billion Husab operation, which started in May,
will have the potential to produce 15 million pounds of uranium and
will eventually supply China only. Construction of a processing
plant is going to plan and production will start at end of 2015.
Husab will have the potential to produce 15 million pounds of
uranium oxide when fully operational in 2017. The mine is in
the ‘process of very early discussions with potential off-takers
targeting utilities which have a long-term strategic outlook on the
uranium market’, Marais said.
Zimplats to Invest
U.S. $80 Million in Acid Plant
August 4, 2014 - Zimplats
plans to invest about $80 million towards the setting up of sulphur
dioxide acid plant that will improve the company's environmental
impact and compliance. An acid plant is used for
the reduction of sulphur dioxide emissions from the smelter
especially in platinum mining. Since the
promulgation of the new air quality legislation in Africa, sulphur
dioxide has been a pollutant of concern especially in the heavily
industrial South African regions and the impact of these emissions
have been exacerbated by the poor atmospheric dispersion by some
companies. Zimplats parent company Implats group
corporate relations manager Mrs Alice Lourens confirmed the
intentions of the company to set up an acid plant.
"The SO2 acid plant is in the planning stage with an
approximate cost of US$80 million and this plant is set to improve
the company's environmental impact and compliance," said Mr Lourens.
Mr Lourens said the two projects (The acid plant and the base
metal refinery) will take around three years to complete and any
possible expansion phases beyond these two initiatives are in the
very early stages of technical consideration. The
projects among other things will depend on the business environment
and the state of the PGM industry," said Mrs Lourens.
She said the projects will be financed through internal cash
flows. The Implats board has approved the $110
million base metals refinery upgrade and work has commenced.
Beneficiating the platinum to matte enables producers to
realise 88,5 percent of potential revenue, at BMR stage they get
89,7 percent, rising to 90 percent at precious metal stage.
Zimplats was also working with fellow miner RioZim to
rehabilitate and expand its Empress Nickel Refinery to process
by-products from the BMR. Zimplats revenue in the
quarter to June 2014 increased 21 percent to $166,9 million from
$137.8 million in the previous quarter due to an increase in sales
volumes and firming nickel prices. This saw the
group achieving a 39 percent increase in operating profit at $50
million compared to last quarter $36.1 million.
Solvay agreed to sell its sulphuric acid operation
July 31, 2014 -
Solvay SA (SOLB) agreed
to sell its sulphuric acid operation serving the mining industry to
private equity firm CCMP Capitol Advisors LLC in a deal valued at
$890 million. The buyout firm is paying “just over”
eight times adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
and amortization for the last 12 months through June, Solvay said in
a statement today. Chief Executive Officer Jean-Pierre
Clamadieu is delivering a deal ahead of a year-end deadline to
announce a buyer for the business, as he looks to enhance the
Belgian company’s focus and profitability. Separately, Solvay
reiterated today it expects high single-digit percentage earnings
growth this year. “Eco Services has a market leading
position and generates stable cash flows, but its business profile
differs from Solvay’s strategic ambitions,” said Clamadieu.
Sales in the second-quarter rose 2 percent to 2.64 billion
euros, driven by higher volumes. Recurring earnings before interest,
taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 10 percent to 485 million
euros, buoyed by an acquisition to expand in oil-field chemicals
that performed better than expectations, and advanced materials.
Peru's La Oroya Smelter Creditors to seek sale by December
June 18, 2014 - A group of creditors for Peru's La Oroya
metallurgical complex aim to put the zinc-lead smelter up
for sale by December, an official said.
The former Doe Run
Perú unit, which
restarted zinc and lead operations in 2012 after bankruptcy halted
operations for three years, is also holding talks with Trafigura
Beheer and Glencore to
secure lead supplies after slumping metals prices discouraged
suppliers from selling concentrates to the smelter, said Rocío
Chávez, representative of smelter administrator Right Business.
Creditors including Glencore, Trafigura, Pan
American Silver, Buenaventura, El
Brocal and Volcan,
who last year hired Swiss investment bank UBS to
sell the La Oroya complex and its Cobriza copper mine, met June 9 in
Lima to discuss the sale, Chávez told BNamericas Wednesday.
"According to the timetable for the sale of Doe Run's assets
presented by UBS, between November and December we should identify
the operator interested in signing the transfer contract," Chávez
said. "But there isn't a definite date."
About 444 of the smelter's 4,000-strong workforce have
accepted incentives to retire as part of a cost cutting plan, Chávez
said. However, the steady decline in copper
prices has sparked
"millions" in losses, as the Cobriza copper mine accounts for most
of the smelter's revenues, Chávez said.
If talks with concentrates suppliers are unsuccessful, Right
Business will inform the board of creditors, which should reach a
decision at its next meeting in mid-July, she said. The smelter owes
about US$600mn to a group of about 100 creditors.
"After metals prices fell in March, Doe Run's finances felt a
major impact and we have a negative cash flow in 2014," Chávez said.
"That meant suppliers didn't want to provide us with concentrates
until the situation improves."
La Oroya, the only poly-metallic smelter in South America,
can produce 122,000t/y of lead and 43,000t/y zinc, according to
Peru's energy and mines ministry (MEM). Cobriza produced 19,578t
copper in 2013. Built in 1922
by the Cerro de Pasco Corporation, and acquired in 1997 in a
privatization process by Doe Run, La Oroya halted its operations in
2009 after metals prices collapsed. La Oroya has the capacity to
produce a dozen different metals, including copper and silver, but
failure to meet environmental standards has shuttered the copper
Vale fined for 2012 sulfur dust explosion
A court has fined Vale Canada $150,000
following a Ministry of Labour investigation into a sulfur dust
explosion in 2012 that sent two workers to the hospital. On
Oct. 18 of that year, there was a sulfur dust explosion and fire in
one of the research stations in the company's refinery located at
187 Davis St. in Port Colborne. There were five workers on
site at the time of the explosion. The research station was a
test plant to produce specialized sulfur agglomerates or briquettes
for Vale's subsidiary Indonesia operation. At the time, the
building had just been built and was up and running for less than a
month. The workers were on contract from an employment agency.
According to a Ministry release, the raw materials used in the
process included powdered sulfur, and there was no indication any
part of the operation was being done incorrectly. Although the
company was still in test run phase, the facility was gradually
increasing both the size and run of product on the day of the
explosion. Witnesses observed increasing dust levels. The
Ministry notes that in powdered form, sulfur is explosive.
Workers were hit by the force of the explosion and were struck by
flying debris. Some workers fell to the floor and some had their
clothing burnt. Though they were wearing proper protective
gear, including half-masks, glasses, safety boots, leather gloves
and earplugs, there were still injuries. These included
second-degree burns, bruising and muscle soreness. The
investigation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act
determined there was a lack of adequate sulfur dust control and that
the company failed to eliminate all potential sources of ignition.
This created a risk of explosion and the fire, investigators
determined. A Ministry engineer found that the most likely
source of ignition was friction or static discharged inside of a
conveyor. This would likely produce a flammable mixture of sulfur
dust and air in an area without a system of ventilation that would
clear out the dust. There was also a lack of vents, baffles, chokes,
dampers or other means to reduce the effects of any explosion.
As well, there wasn't enough material used to blanket the equipment
in the event of a fire. Vale Canada Ltd. pleaded guilty to
failing as an employer to ensure that the measures and procedures
prescribed by law were carried out in the workplace. The fine
was imposed by Justice of the Peace Brett A. Kelly. In addition to
the fine, the court imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge as
required by the Provincial Offences Act.
June 13, 2014 -
Glencore finishes work to stop toxic sulphur pollution at Zambian
April 2, 2014 - Glencore has finally finished work to stop toxic
sulphur pollution at a Zambian copper mine, after missing an earlier
deadline to complete the job. The group’s Mopani subsidiary
will announce within days that it has finished a £300m upgrade to a
copper smelter that will ensure 97 per cent of sulphur dioxide gas
is captured. It comes after the Daily Mail revealed how
locals’ lives have been blighted by regular gas emissions, causing
health problems and soil contamination. Glencore initially
planned to solve the problem by 2015. But the firm brought the
deadline forward to the end of 2013 amid intense pressure from
campaign groups. The company missed the new deadline, but boss
Ivan Glasenberg later vowed that efforts to end pollution at Mopani
would be finished by the end of March. Sophie Powell,
Africa policy chief at Christian Aid, said ‘it is shameful that it
has taken Glencore 14 years to fix the devastating air pollution
caused by its mine’. She added that people in the nearby town
of Kankoyo have reported damage to their homes caused by pollution
and urged Glencore (up 0.35p to 309.15p) to pay towards rehousing
AspenTech Acquires Sulsim Software from Sulphur Experts
April 2, 2014 - Aspen Technology, Inc., a leading provider
of software and services to the process industries, announced it has
acquired Sulsim sulfur simulation software from Sulphur Experts. The
Sulsim sulfur recovery product has been used by the world's leading
energy companies for over 25 years.Sulfur recovery is performed in
almost every refinery and gas plant processing high sulfur feeds.
Regulatory policies require the removal of sulfur from gas produced
by these plants. With Sulsim, process engineers can model the
reaction furnace, reactors, incinerator, and other related
operations of sulfur recovery plants accurately. Because this is the
last step in acid gas cleaning, accurate modeling is essential since
any disturbance will bottleneck the process flow causing reduced
throughput and heavy losses.AspenTech's Aspen HYSYS software, a
leading simulation solution for the energy industry, already
provides modeling capabilities for process equipment and for acid
gas cleaning systems. Sulsim technology reportedly will allow
AspenTech customers for the first time to optimize acid gas cleaning
and sulfur recovery design and operations together. Potential
benefits for refiners and gas processors from using a single
engineering environment include improved efficiency, capital
savings, safer operation, and minimized operating costs.
Ma’aden Selects MECS®
Sulfuric Acid Technology from DuPont Sustainable Solutions for
Phosphate Fertilizer Complex
March 4, 2014 - DuPont Sustainable Solutions is pleased to announce
that MECS, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of DuPont, has been
awarded the sulfuric acid technology license by the Saudi Arabian
Mining Company (Ma’aden) for its Waad Al Shamal Phosphate Project.
MECS, Inc. will provide the sulfuric acid technology and proprietary
equipment for this three-line, 15,150 metric-tonne-per-day sulfuric
acid facility. Ma’aden has selected a consortium led by long-time
MECS licensee, SNC Lavalin Group Inc., to perform engineering,
procurement and construction of the sulfuric acid and power segments
of the complex.
When operational in 2016, the facility will be
one of the largest world-class phosphate fertilizer complexes,
positioning Ma’aden as a significant global producer of fertilizers
and other phosphate-based products. “We are proud to partner with
Ma’aden and SNC on this landmark project and look forward to
supporting Ma’aden in its endeavor to be a world-class minerals
enterprise,” said Kirk Schall, vice president of Licensing, MECS,
SNC-Lavalin wins contract for large-scale sulphuric acid project in
February 4, 2014 - SNC-Lavalin in consortium with Sinopec
Engineering Group (SEG), has signed a contract with Ma'aden in Saudi
Arabia to provide engineering, procurement, construction,
commissioning and start-up services for a three-line
15,150-metric-tonne-per-day sulphuric acid plant. Also included in
the agreement are two 75-MW power plants that will recover heat
generated by the acid plant operations. The total value of the
contract is approximately USD$764 million with SNC-Lavalin's portion
estimated at USD$500 million.The project was awarded as part of
Ma'aden's Waad Al Shamal Phosphate Project, which involves the
conversion of phosphate ore from the Al Khabra mine into various end
products, primarily for the agricultural sector. The contract
signing was formalized at a ceremony held in Turaif, Saudi Arabia
today with the participation of the Saudi Royal Family, Government
Ministers and various dignitaries.The sulphuric acid plant will use
industry leading technology from MECS, Inc. (a wholly-owned
subsidiary of DuPont) to produce acid and generate power through the
efficient recovery of process waste heat. The project, scheduled to
be operational in the fourth quarter of 2016, will be one of the
largest complexes of its kind."We are honoured to be part of a
project that will support Ma'aden in its mandate to develop its
mineral resources and increase industrial development in the
Northern Province and Al-Jouf areas of Saudi Arabia," said Dale
Clarke, Executive Vice-President, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.SNC-Lavalin
is a longstanding leader in the sulphuric acid industry, having
successfully installed more than 60 plants around the world over the
past 25 years.
Maaden also signed the contract for building a phosphoric
acid plant worth SR3,506 million ($935 million) to Hanwha
Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd & Hanwha Saudi Contracting Co.
Ltd. The phosphoric acid plant which will consist of three
phosphoric acid lines when completed will have a production capacity
of 1.5 million tons.
EPA proposes pollution control at Arizona facilities
January 28, 2014 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is
proposing pollution controls at six facilities in Arizona to improve
visibility at national parks and wilderness areas.The San
Francisco-based EPA is proposing a federal plan to limit emissions
such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide tailored to
the facilities.The six are Tucson Electric Power's Sundt Plant in
Tucson, Chemical Lime Nelson in Peach Springs, ASARCO's Hayden
Smelter, Freeport McMoran's Miami Smelter, Phoenix Cement Company's
Clarkdale plant and CalPortland Cement Company's Rillito plant.EPA
estimates the proposal would reduce sulfur dioxide by almost 30,000
tons per year and nitrogen oxides by 3,100 tons annually.EPA will
hold public hearings on Feb. 25 in Phoenix and the following day
in Tucson.A final determination will be made by June 27.
Chemtrade Announces Closing of the General Chemical Acquisition
January 23, 2014 - Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund announced today
that it has completed its previously-announced acquisition of
Parsippany, New Jersey-based General Chemical Holding Company. The
final total cash purchase price is expected to be approximately
US$900 million, after a working capital adjustment and payment of
post-closing taxes. "This is a historic event for Chemtrade.
The acquisition of General Chemical adds significant size, scale and
scope to Chemtrade's existing product and service platform," said
Chemtrade President and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Davis.
"General Chemical has strong portfolio alignment with our current
business, enhancing our existing sulphuric acid geographic footprint
and greatly expanding our water treatment business so it now extends
across most of North America. The acquisition of General Chemical
also moves Chemtrade into new but related product categories and end
markets, and positions Chemtrade to capitalize on new growth
Codelco to build new molybdenum
plant in Chile
January 21, 2014 - Chilean copper producer Codelco will invest $400
million in the construction of a molybdenum plant in Mejillones, in
Chile's Antofagasta region. The plan is to process 16,000 tpy
of molybdenum trioxide by 2015, as well as produce 32,000 tpy of
sulphuric acid. In the year of 2012, the company produced 20,000
tonnes of the material.