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MEI Online: Pyrometallurgy: Latest News: July 16th 2009


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:: Ausmelt Signs Secondary Lead Smelting Deal with Indian Engineering Company

Ausmelt Ltd (AET) has signed a co-operation agreement with a major Indian group under which the two companies will market their complementary technologies globally to small and medium-scale lead recyclers.

Ausmelt has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Gravita Exim Ltd of Jaipur which provides complete plant solutions to small-scale lead recyclers.

Since its inception, Gravita has provided technology and equipment for lead recycling plants to 28 clients around the world.

The largest plant yet sold by Gravita processes around 12,000 tonnes a year of lead metal. Gravita is also expert in providing technologies that are complementary to the core furnace operations including battery feed preparation, battery acid treatment and lead bullion refining.

The standard Gravita offering, however, includes traditional rotary furnace technology which is limited in its throughput capacity.

Ausmelt has focused on primary lead operations although some of its projects treat a combination of battery scrap and primary lead concentrates. Most of Ausmelt’s lead plants are in the range of 80,000 to 100,000 tonnes a year of throughput.

The smallest plant Ausmelt has sold is for 40,000 tonnes a year of lead contained in concentrates.

Ausmelt’s standard top submerged lance technology generally relies on clients sourcing their own engineering and equipment supply for plant operations outside the core furnace technology that Ausmelt provides. This methodology works well for larger projects but does not meet the requirements of the small-scale lead recycling market.

Ausmelt and Gravita have concluded that the market for lead recycling plants in the throughput range 15,000 to 30,000 tonnes a year of contained lead would be best serviced with a combination of Ausmelt top submerged lance technology and Gravita’s lower cost engineering and equipment supply, sourced in India.

Gravita’s Managing Director, Mr Rajat Agrawal, said: “We are delighted to join hands with Ausmelt in offering our joint technologies to the global market. The global market for lead acid battery recycling is large and growing and the combined Ausmelt and Gravita offering will be well received by the mid-sized recyclers."

Ausmelt’s Managing Director, Mr Paul Abbott, said today: “This venture is significant. It offers an elegant solution to a world-wide environmental problem and enables small-scale lead recycling to be done economically.

“The global lead industry produces about 8.6 million tonnes a year. About 60% of this tonnage comes from recycled materials such as lead acid batteries. Much of this recycling is still carried out in small “backyard” operations that are both environmentally unsatisfactory and labour-intensive.

“There is a very strong market to replace these inferior recycling plants with modern, efficient and environmentally responsible facilities.

“The combination of Ausmelt’s superior smelting technology with Gravita’s low-cost Indian sourced engineering and equipment supply will be a powerful offering in this marketplace.

“We are very optimistic that this agreement will substantially improve Ausmelt’s ability to sell into the smaller end of the lead recycling market, a market segment in which Ausmelt has traditionally struggled to gain traction."




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