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:: Commercial Development of ConRoast Process in a New Independent Base Metals Refinery for Platinum Industry in South Africa
Mintek and Independence Platinum Limited (IPt) has announced that they had signed an agreement for the commercial development and exploitation of Mintek's ConRoast Process in a new independent smelter and base metals refinery for the processing of platinum concentrates in South Africa.
The ConRoast Process operates to remove sulphur from the metal sulphide concentrates by roasting, followed by smelting of dead-roasted concentrate in a DC arc furnace using an iron based alloy as a collector of platinum group metals, nickel, copper, cobalt and other base metals.
The ConRoast Process offers significant advantages in terms of environmental impact, health and safety.
Sulphur emissions are captured and removed from the enclosed roasting equipment in a continuous stream of sulphur dioxide gas of an appropriate strength as feed to a plant to produce sulphuric acid for use in downstream base metal leaching operations.
The ConRoast Process provides great flexibility for treatment of a range ore types and concentrate compositions without imposing limits on the minimum quantities of contained base metals or sulphur. It can tolerate high contents of chromite in concentrates characteristic of UG2 ores. UG2 ores are becoming increasingly important in the production of platinum group metals.
The ConRoast Process produces a metal alloy from the furnace which is water atomised prior to leaching.
Overall the ConRoast Process achieves very high metal recoveries and produces high purity metals and a clean high-grade concentrate of platinum group metals for precious metals refining.
The key terms of the ConRoast Technology Agreement include the following:
The Chairman of Independence Platinum, Mr Clayton Dodd, said that studies completed by IPt over the last 12 months indicated that there was a critical shortage in smelting and base metal refining capacity emerging in the platinum industry in South Africa.
IPt has also entered into an agreement to license proven Atomaer process technology for the leaching of base metals from metal alloy and matte.
"The combination of Mintek's ConRoast Process and Atomaer's Base Metals Process will lead to step down reductions in capital and operating costs in the processing of sulphide concentrates for the extraction of nickel, copper and other base metals and the production of a high grade platinum concentrate for precious metals refining" Mr Dodd said.
The new independent smelter and base metals refinery will be developed through a subsidiary of IPt in South Africa, namely Independence Base Metals Refiners (Pty) Ltd.
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