OXYMAT has supplied a duplex nitrogen (N2) generator to Kansanshi Mining in Zambia for its ‘porous plug technology’, a new processing alternative for production in the copper business.
With a stringent economic and environmental climate prevailing in the copper business, there is an increased interest in evaluating new processing alternatives for production. This new system includes two independent N2 generating systems installed in a 20 feet frame. With a frame built plug & play system the customer has many benefits, such as easy transportation, lower foot print and trouble-free installation on-site.
The technology is based on the controlled injection of inert N2 gas into the molten copper through porous refractory plugs located in the bottom and lower regions of the anode furnace. (See Figs 1, 2 and 3 below.)
The main potential benefits associated with the use of porous plug technology on anode furnaces in a copper smelter are: a reduction in fossil fuel consumed, improved control of Sulfur dioxide (SO2) in anode furnace stack emissions, reduced refractory attack and increased cycle and annualised capacity due to the elimination of solid accretions inside the furnace. The mentioned benefits are due in large part to the stirring and mixing caused by the introduction of the inert N2 gas into the molten copper bath through the porous plugs.
More and more mines are investing in N2 generators to cut costs and to become independent from N2 supplies.