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MEI Online: Hydrometallurgy: Latest News: November 26th 2007


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:: Outotec's Copper Process Receives Quality Innovation of the Year Award

A new copper production method developed by Outotec has been elected as the Quality Innovation of the Year 2007 by Excellence Finland in large companies' category.

The jury's criteria were innovativeness and quality of the innovation. Quality was valued from the customer's viewpoint and by the innovation's commercial value. The copper production process developed by Outotec, including a new leaching method and reactor technology, met the jury's criteria best. "The process is environmentally sound and energy-efficient, which makes it very competitive. The company's business is based on know-how and proprietary technologies with high business potential. The new technology can be customized and applied for numerous new projects in the global markets", explained the jury.

The award-winning technology enables exploitation of the Cobre Las Cruces deposit in Spain with low investment and operating costs. Outotec developed the technology during 2002-2004 for the customer, made basic engineering for the Cobre Las Cruces copper plant and is currently delivering process know-how as well as special equipment for grinding, thickening, leaching, solvent extraction, tankfarm and electrowinning. The leaching technology has been particularly developed for the ore in Cobre Las Cruces. Outotec supervises the project all the way from installation to commissioning. Once operational, the plant will produce annually 72,000 tonnes of LME grade A copper cathodes.

Outotec has continuously developed the awarded technology and applied it in other hydrometallurgical processes, such as for example the metals recovery technology Outotec will deliver for the Talvivaara nickel project in Finland.

"We are very happy to receive the Quality Innovation award. It is a great recognition for our specialists' know-how and brilliant ideas. They have been in central role in developing the new process technology and making it match the customer's needs. As a result, we have been able to offer an economically and ecologically viable process for exploiting the Cobre Las Cruces deposit. The new reactor technology has quickly created significant business for us," Tapani Jervinen, President and CEO of Outotec states.




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