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July 22, 2021

Boliden to invest $825m in Norwegian zinc smelter to boost production

The company aims to almost double the annual zinc production at the Boliden Odda smelter.

Swedish mining firm Boliden has decided to increase zinc production at the Boliden Odda smelter in Norway with an investment of $825m (€700m).

The investment would almost double the annual zinc production capacity of the smelter, from 200,000 tonnes currently to 350,000 tonnes.

As part of the expansion plan, the firm will build several new facilities at the site, including a new roaster, sulphuric acid plant and cellhouse.

The scope of work also includes the expansion and modernisation of the leaching and purification plant, as well as the foundry and quay infrastructure.

Boliden president and CEO Mikael Staffas said: “This is one of the largest investments in Boliden’s history.

“By increasing the production of zinc with the highest climate performance, while also improving resource efficiency and productivity, we are setting a new standard for zinc smelting both in terms of sustainability performance and cost-effectiveness.”

With all the environmental permits in place, the expansion would also enable the smelter to extract the bi-metals lead, gold and silver.

Boliden said in a press statement: “The increased production capacity together with improved energy efficiency and a new, long-term contract for the supply of fossil-free electricity means a further reduction in the already low carbon dioxide intensity.”

The expansion project, which is planned to be completed by the end of 2024, is also expected to increase the level of digitisation and automation in the Boliden Odda operations.

Boliden has also received investment support from financial service providers Enova and Innovasjon Norge for the Odda smelter expansion project.

Earlier this year, Boliden announced plans to invest $149m to expand the Kristineberg mine towards the Rävliden mineralisation zone.

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