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MEI Online: Hydrometallurgy: Latest News: November 21st 2006


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:: Breakthrough for Outokumpu Technology's new HydroCopper® Process

Outokumpu Technology Oyj and Erdenet Mining Corporation have entered into an agreement for the engineering of the first HydroCopper® plant to be built at the mine site in Erdenet, Mongolia. The contract value of this first phase amounts to EUR 3.5 million. The contract is a breakthrough for HydroCopper® and Outokumpu Technology expects that there are good markets for this new technology.

The engineering work for the Erdenet plant in this first phase will take up to six months. Negotiations will continue for the second phase, including detail design, delivery of process equipment, installation, commissioning and training. According to Erdenet Mining Corporation's Board decision, the second phase will be implemented immediately after the first phase. The new hydrometallurgical plant is scheduled to be operational in 2009.

HydroCopper® is Outokumpu Technology's new and revolutionary hydrometallurgical process to produce copper directly from concentrates at the mine site, shortening the process from mine to metal. This reduces significantly the related working capital and freight costs. Environmentally sound and cost-effective HydroCopper® is a competitive process and especially suitable for units producing up to 150 000 tonnes copper metal per year.

The innovative and patented technology is the result of several years of research and development work. It has been successfully operated in Outokumpu Technology's demonstration plant in Pori, Finland, where also Erdenet's copper concentrate has been tested.

Erdenet Mining Corporation is a Mongolian-Russian limited liability company, which has the largest copper, silver and molybdenum mining operations in Mongolia. With Outokumpu Technology's novel process the company plans to produce initially 50 000 tons of copper wire rod per year.




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