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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Copper: Latest News: May 6th 2011


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:: Growth and Development of Copper EW and ER Technology

Surrounded by some of the worlds largest copper mines, and looking out on the spectacular Atacama desert, Xstrata Technology's copper refining and electro-winning customers gathered at San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile for three and half days of technical presentations, workshops and mine site tours, in November, 2010.

Over 100 customers and XT supplier partners attended the conference, where delegates were updated on new technology developments, workshopped and discussed latest operating practices and issues, and took the opportunity to inspect nearby tankhouses at the giant Chuiquicamata and Radomiro Tomic mines. The conference also visited XT's local Chilean cathode manufacturer, ICL Cathodos in Calama.

"This unique gathering is well known for providing a relaxed and open forum for industry technologists and operators to share knowledge and insights gained from their respective experiences. Old acquaintances are renewed (some going back more than 20 years), and new friendships forged," said John Doolan, Chief Financial Officer and General Manager Tankhouse Technology.

Attendees came from Germany, Austria, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Africa, India, China, Korea, Kazakhstan, Japan, Philippines, Australia, Canada, USA and Chile.

"This regular event continues to be a wonderful testament to the pioneers that first developed and implemented stainless steel production cathodes in Townsville in the late seventies, and then at Kidd Creek some years later." commented John.

The Townsville Copper Refinery was the first tankhouse in the world to convert to permanent stainless steel cathodes and since that time the technology has grown and developed around the world, introducing a range of advances in cathode plate development as well as versatile stripping machines, that are now the centre piece of all modern copper refineries.




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