Port Pirie Redevelopment
Following the announcement in May 2014 that Nyrstar and the South Australian Government had reached a funding and support package to proceed with the $563M AUD Redevelopment of the Port Pirie Smelter to an advanced multi metals processing and recovering facility, momentum regarding the project has continued to build and a number of significant milestone have been achieved.
As the timeline at the bottom of the page shows, substantial progress is being made in all areas with the Redevelopment Project having already passed its halfway point in Q2 2015.
The Redevelopment is the first stage in both Port Pirie’s and the broader Metals Processing segment Transformation and the foundation for the delivery of Nyrstar’s mission to capture the maximum value inherent in feed material and unlock untapped value from within its existing portfolio of assets. The investment in Port Pirie is unique and allows Nyrstar to extract increased value from high margin metal bearing feed materials. Additionally investment in proven state of the art technology will deliver step change reductions in airborne metal, dust and sulphur dioxide emissions resulting in significant reductions in community blood lead levels. In parallel, Nyrstar and the South Australian Government have agreed to further improve the community health through the establishment of a new Targeted Lead Abatement Program (TLAP).
State Of The Art Furnance Technology
The furnace is enclosed ensuring all metal fumes and offgas are recovered. Blended feed materials and flux is fed through the roof of the furnace.
Core to this technology is the lance that injects air and oxygen at a high rate into a high lead slag bath. This ensures that oxygen is so well mixed with the slag and blended feed material, that the required reactions occur at a high rate and high temperature and means they are operated very close to equilibrium.
These aspects enables the feeding of a wide variety of feed materials making it one of the most flexible pyro metallurgical furnace operations available. The Port Pirie Top Submerged Lance (TSL) process will produce lead bullion and a high lead slag suitable for further treatment in the Blast Furnace. The lead bullion settles to the bottom of the furnace which is batch tapped from a water cooled tap-hole, while the slag will continuously overflow via a weir.
This means the slag bath level remains constant ensuring the lance immersion in the slag is controlled very closely. This is important as it controls the slag that is splashed upwards in the cylindrical shaft of the furnace in a controlled manner and very importantly leads to coating the outer surface of the lance with the slag.
The slag is refractory in nature that protects the lance from burning through prematurely due to the high temperatures inside the furnace. This feature with the complete refractory lined furnace ensures a highly flexible process and high availability.
Focus On Acid Plant
The Acid Plant will take the off gas from the Outotec Ausmelt TSL Furnace after being cleaned and conditioned, and will convert the sulphur dioxide contained in the gas to concentrated sulphuric acid which will be sold to the market. The Acid Plant footprint will be approximately 60m x 50m and stand 30m high. The new Acid Plant stack will be 60m high. The capacity of the Acid Plant will increase significantly from the current approximately 200 T/day to approximately 1000 T/day.