Multinational commodities company Glencore has temporarily reduced production at the Murrin Murrin nickel-cobalt operation in Western Australia following a malfunction at an acid plant at the site.

Glencore’s Murrin Murrin fully integrated nickel and cobalt operation is located approximately 880km east of Perth in the north-eastern Goldfields region. It processes and refines nickel and cobalt to produce LME grade metal briquettes on site.

Glencore was cited by Australian Financial Review as saying in a statement: “Operations at Murrin Murrin continue at reduced capacity whilst repairs are being completed.

“There was no explosion and no injuries as a result of this incident.”

A Glencore spokesperson was quoted by Australian Mining as saying that a component failure occurred at one of the two acid plant fans at the site.

Details were not disclosed regarding how long repair work may take.

Glencore’s Murrin Murrin site comprises a high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) technology and a refinery, a 90MW power station, a 4400 tonnes per day acid plan; a six tonnes per hour hydrogen sulphide plant, and a reverse osmosis water treatment plant.

In 2020, the mine accounted for about 31% of the company’s nickel production.

Glencore uses conventional open-pit mining methods at Murrin Murrin operations prior to processing and refining nickel and cobalt laterite ore at its hydrometallurgical facility.

The high-grade nickel and cobalt product produced at the Murrin Murrin operations are sold to customers in both the domestic and export markets.