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MEI Online: Pyrometallurgy: Latest News: February 14th 2006


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:: Next Generation Flash Furnace Injection Technology Offers Benefits to Copper and Nickel Industry

Clyde Materials Handling, the leading provider of pneumatic transport and injection solutions and WorleyParsons, a leader in smelter and metallurgical proces design and implementation are delighted to announce the formation of a joint venture company, Clyde-WorleyParsons.

Clyde-WorleyParsons has developed an advanced Flash Furnace Feed System which utilizes the pneumatic transport and injection expertise and technology of Clyde Materials Handling and the flash furnace process knowledge and experience of WorleyParsons.

Amalgamation of these skills has resulted in the ability to offer burner feed and concentrate injection system solutions that can potentially provide copper producers with existing smelting facilities with a range of operational and economic benefits, which include:

  • The ability to increase furnace average throughput;
  • Improved system availability;
  • Process stabilization and improved furnace performance;
  • Reduced maintenance costs;
  • Improved mixing of concentrate, flux and dust prior to injection; and/or
  • Greater accuracy and control of concentrate feed injection rate.

Furthermore, the Clyde-WorleyParsons Flash Furnace Feed System can potentially also generate substantial additional benefits to those producers considering installing new smelting facilities. The system offers these producers the following potential benefits:

  • Operating cost benefits accruing from improved process control, including higher furnace throughput, and improved grade control, metal recovery and energy efficiency;
  • Feed bins placed at ground level with feed materials conveyed to the burner, hence decreasing the height of the smelter building, resulting in capital cost savings; this benefit can be even greater for smelters located in seismic areas.

There is also a simple, practical ability to build redundancy into the feed system with a view to potentially further increasing furnace 'on-line' time. The cumulative economic benefits for this type of greenfield installation are estimated to be many millions of dollars.

Commenting on the significance of the development of Clyde-WorleyParsons, Alex Stewart, Chief Executive of Clyde Materials Handling said, "We are excited by the prospect of launching what we believe to be a revolutionary new technology into the market and believe that the mix of expertise and knowledge our two companies provide can help propel Clyde-WorleyParsons as a recognized technology leader in the flash furnace market."

He continued, "The Flash Furnace Feed System will target not only those organizations seeking to deploy new smelting facilities but also those operations that are experiencing significant difficulties with existing mechanical screw and scraper-chain-based systems."

Charles Jones, Director, Process and Technology at WorleyParsons added, "The creation of Clyde-WorleyParsons has stemmed from our discussions with producers in the copper market who are determined to identify a more efficient, effective, reliable and economically beneficial furnace feed system solution. Our understanding of the process and operational inefficiencies inherent in currently available systems leads us to be confident that Clyde-WorleyParsons has the ability to provide the market with a competitive-edge technology, opening opportunities capable of creating significant value for individual smelter operations and the industry. The level of interest we are receiving from some of the major copper and nickel producers globally supports our confidence."




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