German copper producer Aurubis is planning to invest €330m ($355.58m) on a new precious metals processing plant at its Hamburg site in Germany.
The new precious metals refinery (PMR) will combine with its current facilities to create an integrated area for processing precious metals.
Of the €330m, €300m will be invested in the PMR. The balance of €30m will be used to further increase environmental protection and expand the reducing diffuse emissions (RDE) system used in primary copper production.
The new precious metals processing facility is expected to begin operations by the end of 2026. The site will include an entire processing chain in one closed and secured area.
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The company plans to raise the benchmarks by introducing innovative process technology and systems engineering in the project.
It claims that a new metallurgical process can bring higher efficiency while reducing throughput times for materials containing precious metals and bring down operating costs by around 15%.
The new plant could significantly expand its production capacity and lay the groundwork for additional growth in the future.
In 2021, the company installed a filter system for its primary copper production to reduce diffuse emissions, at the cost of €85m.
As part of the system, roof openings of the building housing the primary smelter were closed and connected to the new filter system.
The system suctions off and cleans diffuse emissions or dust and redirects residual quantities to the production cycle. The system has lowered the diffuse emissions from copper production by 40%.
Aurubis plans to install this filter system within the new precious metals processing facility, bringing overall system efficiency to 80%.
Aurubis CEO Roland Harings said: “By endorsing these comprehensive investment projects at its most recent meeting, the Supervisory Board affirmed its support for the Aurubis growth strategy and for strengthening our core business.
“We are making an important contribution to sustainable, environmentally friendly, and innovative metal production with these projects.”
With this project, along with the previously announced ones, Aurubis is investing more than €750m in the Hamburg plant.
In May this year, the company said it will invest around $700m in a new secondary smelter for complex recycling materials in Richmond County in the US state of Georgia.
With another expansion also taking place at the facility, it will bring the total processing capacity of complex recycling materials to 180,000 tonnes per annum by 2026.