The ISASMELT smelting process from Xstrata Technology has made a significant impact on the global metals industry, allowing new operations to reach production quickly and cost effectively and making it possible for Brownfield operations to improve profitability and meet high environmental standards. ISASMELT smelting process plants have been well received in recent years, particularly in the copper industry. The total capacity of operating the plants is more than 8,000,000 tonnes of copper-bearing feed material per year.
ISASMELT smelting process plants have made entry into the mineral processing and smelting marketplace a more straightforward, less expensive decision for new greenfield plants. The plants require relatively low levels of upfront capital and are relatively simple to install and operate. They need a relatively small land area and can be quickly installed and soon producing to design capacity.
Perhaps the biggest adopters to date of ISASMELT smelting process plant technology have been existing brownfield operations who have chosen to install the plants to improve production capacity, reduce operating costs or improve environmental performance. These operations have recognised the impressive results delivered in copper and lead smelters around the world.
The key to their success has been their simplicity and efficiency. Customers have recognised the advantage of a technology that improves their smelting operations and results in better environmental management, reduced operating costs, increased production capacity and stronger profits.
These plants were developed in smelter environments and Xstrata’s teams have extensive operational know-how, gathered over many years in the field. This is reflected in the development and ongoing evolution of the technology.
The relatively low capital cost of the plants is a definite selling point. They have a simple design and a high specific smelting rate. Their minimal need for feed preparation and small physical footprint all contribute to a low initial outlay.
Low operating costs, process flexibility and simplicity are the key points. These plants have been designed for rapid ramp-up and ongoing ease of operation. The process is simple for operators to learn and offers ongoing ease of control and maintenance.
Smelting operations in all countries are always under pressure to improve environmental performance. ISASMELT smelting process plants make it easy to meet environmental standards. They are energy efficient, have minimal emissions and can use local and/or recycled fuel types.