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

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Acid Plant Database February 10, 2011

Owner Xstrata Copper
Kidd Creek Mines

Xstrata-Copper-Logo.jpg (3811 bytes)

Location P.O. Bag 2002
#10050 Highway 101 East
Timmins, Ontario
Canada P4N 7K1
Background Formerly
- Falconbridge Limited
- Falconbridge Nickel Mines Limited
- Texasgulf Canada Ltd.


Plant Smelter Acid Plant Roaster Acid Plant
Coordinates 48º 33' 7" N, 81º 4' 52" W 48º 32' 53" N, 81º 4' 59" W
Type of Plant Metallurgical Metallurgical
Gas Source Copper
Mitsubishi continuous copper smelting process
Lurgi Roasters
Smelting Furnace Converting Furnace
Hot Gas Cleaning Waste Heat Boiler Waste Heat Boiler - Balloon Flue -
Balloon Flue (common) - (3) Hot ESP
Wet Gas Cleaning

Swemco Scrubber (Peabody) - Entrainment Separator - Wet Gas Fan - WESP (3 parallel trains)

Plant Capacity 1692 MTPD 408 MTPD
SA/DA 3/1 DA 4 SA
Status Shutdown 2010 Shutdown 2010
Year Built 1981 1972
Technology MECS MECS
Contractor Simon-Carves FENCO Simon-Carves FENCO

Supplier: Allis Chalmers
Delivery Year:
Model: D36JR
Quantity: 1
Flow Rate: 77882 CFM
Pressure Rise: 8.852 psi (245" WC)
Driver: 3500 Hp, Electric Motor



Plant rerated in two stages from original 833 MTPD to 1290 MTPD to 1692 MTPD

  Xstrata-Copper-Timmins-Cu-2.JPG (242242 bytes)
General Copper smelter acid plant has liquid SO2 plant
References -
News May 1, 2010 - Although May 1 marks the beginning of the end for Xstrata Copper's Kidd Creek Metallurgical Site, it will still be a couple of weeks before the company will see a dip in manpower.  "May 14 will be the first day workers will be leaving for good," said Ben Lefebvre, chair-MAN of the bargaining committee for CAW Local 599 in Timmins. "We'll see a good chunk of people leaving that day, and about half of the people that have been laid off permanently will be staying for the cleanup and ramping down process."  Lefebvre explained that this process could last anywhere from two to six weeks.  "It's not just something that happens overnight, you don't just flip a switch and lock the doors," explained Lefebvre. "For environmental and safety reasons, there's cleanup involved, draining of pipes, things like that."   Although more 100 workers were asked to stay after May 14, a vast majority of employees will be walking out of the smelter on that date.  "Almost 100 people have accepted early retirement packages," said Lefebvre.  Saturday will mark the shutoff of feed to the plant, with the zinc plant feed having been shut off this past Wednesday.  "A handful of people will remain in the concentrator to train transferees," added Lefebvre. "And there are about eight people slated to stay as late as November."

December 7, 2009 - Xstrata Copper Canada plans to permanently close its Kidd metallurgical copper and zinc plants in Timmins, Ont., with the loss of 670 jobs.  The shutdown is planned for May 1, 2010, in a rationalization of the company's Canadian metallurgical operations.   The metals company, which was called Falconbridge before it was acquired by Swiss-based Xstrata PLC, said the Kidd mine and concentrator will remain in operation.   Xstrata cited several underlying global factors for the decision, including poor market demand and a strong Canadian dollar.  Ben Lefebvre, the chair of Canadian Auto Workers Local 599, called it a “devastating blow” to the union's members, “particularly at this time of year.”  He added that hundreds of other jobs will be affected in Timmins and the surrounding communities.  “You can rest assured that we are not going to sit idly by and let this happen without a fight,” Mr. Lefebvre said in a statement.  “The federal government agreed to the takeover of Falconbridge by this foreign multi-national based on the fact that the deal would prove to be a net economic benefit to this country,” Mr. Lefebvre said. “Obviously that is not the case.”  Xstrata said eligible employees will be offered early retirement incentives and where possible, the company will try to offer work for employees at its other operations.  “Global smelting overcapacity is driving treatment and refining charges to record lows while the costs to operate and maintain these facilities continue to increase,” Claude Ferron, chief operating officer, said in a release.   “Our situation in Canada is exacerbated by a strengthening Canadian dollar. The requirement for further capital investment in these plants and lower sale prices for some byproducts, including sulphuric acid, have also negatively impacted the viability of these operations.”

August 27, 2009 - Xstrata PLC said it will close its Kidd Creek copper smelter and refinery temporarily due to a shortage of third-party concentrate, exacerbated by a strike at Vale Inco in Canada.   The smelter and refinery, located in Timmins, Ontario, will shut September 7 and remain closed for seven to 10 weeks, the company said. The mine remains open.
00"In addition to reduced shipments from some of Kidd's regular suppliers, concentrate availability is being compounded by the current Vale Inco strike in Sudbury," said Thompson Hickey, general manager at the Kidd Metallurgical Site.   Xstrata receives about 20% of its concentrate needs from Vale, the company told Dow Jones Newswires.  The rest comes from other third-party suppliers and 40% from its own mines.
Xstrata said some employees will be laid off temporarily as a result of the closure, but the numbers and duration haven't been finalized.  The Kidd Creek smelter was previously shut for eight weeks beginning mid-April due to a decline in demand for sulphuric acid, which the plant produces as a by-product of smelting concentrate.   "The plant has been struggling economically for a number of years," said Xstrata spokesman Louis-Philippe Gariepy, citing the increased cost in freight to ship material.  "We were already in a restrained situation due to a slowdown in copper feed," he said, adding that the smelter and refinery were running at a reduced rate.  Xstrata will stockpile mined material that normally goes to the Kidd smelter and some will be sent to its Horne smelter in Quebec. The Kidd Metallurgical Site is comprised of a concentrator, a zinc plant, and a copper refinery and smelter. There are a total of 800 people at the site.

April 1, 2009 - About 175 workers at Xstrata Copper’s Kidd Creek Metallurgical Site will be affected by an eight-week shutdown starting April 13 because of weak demand for sulphuric acid.  The shutdown will affect employees working in the copper smelter, whereas the site’s concentrator and zinc operations will continue to operate.  Thompson Hickey, general manager at the site, said the company experienced a “significant drop” in sulphuric acid sales since January, due to a lack of demand.  “An ongoing negative outlook on sales requires that we adjust our operating plans to further reduce our acid production to meet this current reality,” Hickey said in a press release.   “This situation is beyond our control and we will make all possible efforts to mitigate potential impacts on our 175 employees working at the copper operation.”  Hickey said Xstrata doesn’t expect the shutdown to last any longer and “we look forward to returning to normal production levels.”

November 5, 2008 - Xstrata Copper Canada is pleased to announce it has reached a tentative agreement with the Union Executives of CAW-Local 599 for the renewal of the collective agreement at the Kidd Metallurgical site.  Kidd Metallurgical employees are expected to vote on the agreement on November 6, 2008. The collective agreement expired on September 30, 2008 at midnight and the CAW has been on strike since October 1. 

October 1, 2008 - CAW Local 599 members at Xstrata's Copper Kidd Metallurgical facility near Timmins Ontario are on strike over the company's refusal to adequately address workers concerns in bargaining.  In a statement released to Local 599 members, the union said the company fell short in addressing many of the workers concerns in the areas of wages, benefits and contract language, which includes seniority and skilled trades related issues.  "We are hopeful that Xstrata will reconsider its position and return to the negotiating table in order to bring an end to this dispute," said Ben Lefebvre, Chairperson of the Metallurgical site representing 675 CAW members.  "Our members understand that Xstrata is benefiting from Canada's very profitable metals sector and are demanding a fair deal," said Hemi Mitic, assistant to CAW National President Ken Lewenza.  Mitic said the two sides are not far apart on the issues and believes that an agreement is within reach.  Swiss-based Xstrata acquired the northern Ontario metallurgical complex when it took over Canadian-mining giant Falconbridge in 2006. The Kidd metallurgical site is located 30 kilometres from the Kidd Creek mine and includes a concentrator, copper smelter and refinery, as well as zinc, cadmium, indium and sulphuric acid plant.   The collective agreement expired at midnight on October 1. No further contract talks have been scheduled.

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