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

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Acid Plant Database  December 17, 2021

Owner Nyrstar

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Location Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau
F-59950, Auby
Background Formerly
1869 - Compagnie Royale Asturienne des Mines
1982 - Asturienne France
1987 - Vieille Montagne France
1993 - Union Minière
- Umicore
2007 -
Nystar announced that as of 31 August 2007 it had taken ownership of the zinc and lead smelting and alloying assests of Umicore and Zinifex, thereby formally launching the company and creating the world’s largest zinc producer.
Website www.nyrstar.com
Plant Auby
Coordinates* 50º 24' 30" N, 3º 4' 35" E
Type of Plant Metallurgical
Gas Source Zinc
Plant Capacity 551 MTPD
2014: 187,000 tonnes
Status Operating
Year Built -
Technology -
Contractor -
Remarks -
Pictures  Nyrstar-Auby-4.jpg (252274 bytes)  Nyrstar - Auby 2.jpg (36926 bytes)  Nyrstar - Auby 3.jpg (463866 bytes) 
General The Auby smelter is located in the town of Auby in the north of France, approximately 35 kilometres south of the city of Lille. The plant is situated on a site of 138 hectares. It is adjacent to the canal de la Deûle, which connects to the seaport of Calais, and is well connected to several motorways. Zinc smelting at the site dates back to 1869.  The majority of site production is sold to the Umicore building product plant located adjacent to the aite, as well as to Nyrstar Balen/Overpelt for conversion into alloys.  In addition to producing standard zinc cathodes, the plant also produces a significant quantity of higher quality battery-grade cathodes  The site's by-products include sulphuric acid, Auby leach product, copper and an indium concentrate.

Auby Plant was established in 1869 by Compagnie Royale asturienne des Mines, in the middle of Coal mines area in order to access energy required for the industrial thermical process of refi ning zinc. This process remained almost unchanged until 1954, when Auby Plant modernized its process Introducing a vertical furnace “ New Jersey “. Later in 1975, the refi ning technology moved from thermical one to an hydrometallurgic (electrolysis), which is still the current process today. This major technological advancement enabled the Plant to reach 100,000 tonnes annual zinc production capacity, until the 1987 integration into “Vielle Montagne Group as “Union Miniere” and subsequently “Umicore” in 2001 increased capacity to 200,000 tonnes zinc per year. Due to downsizing capacity in 2005 to 135,000 tonnes, available infrastructure on site paved the way for the establishment of Indium Cement in 2007, coinciding with the plant’s integration into Nyrstar Group. Between 2009 and today, the plant has increased zinc production capacity to 160,000 then to 172,000 tons and developed and Indium metal refi ning process. This resulted in the 2012 establishment of an Indium Metal Production facility with an annual capacity of 48 tonnes
References -
News December 17, 2021 - The decision comes in response to a significant rise in power prices in France.  Belgium-based global metals firm Nyrstar plans to place its operations in Auby, France, on care and maintenance from the first week of January 2022, due to increasing power prices.  The decision comes in response to significantly increased current and anticipated future prices of electricity in the country.  In a press statement, Nyrstar said: “Power prices, already at historically high levels across Europe, have continued to rise in recent weeks in France, in excess of neighbouring European countries.  “This is as a result of low availability of nuclear power, high carbon-related costs passed on by power companies and reduced fixed-price allowances for the industry.”  Nyrstar said that electricity prices in early 2022 in France could stay high and volatile.  During the care and maintenance period, the firm plans to undertake maintenance and continue planned investment into the project.  Furthermore, employees at the Auby operations would be redirected to work on training maintenance and investment projects.  The firm plans to resume production at Auby once it is economically viable.  In Auby, Nyrstar operates a mid-scale electrolytic zinc smelter, which produces cathodes as finished products. It uses both zinc concentrates and zinc secondaries as feedstock.  The smelter is designed to process a high percentage of secondary feed material to produce SHG cathode and some extra pure quality cathodes.  The site also produces by-products of sulphuric acid, Auby Leach Product, copper and indium.  Nystar will continue to run its three European operations in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, though with a production reduction of up to 50% due to high power prices.

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