Kitwe, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 15 August 2011 – Mopani Copper Mines plc has embarked on the final stage of its programme to capture sulphur emissions, involving an investment of US$80 million in further gas capture equipment and a second sulphuric acid plant.
When this work is completed, over 97% of all sulphur dioxide will be captured, compared to no sulphur dioxide capture at all for decades before privatisation. This world-class environmental performance will have been achieved in line with the programme agreed with the government at the time of privatisation,” the company said in a statement issued here. “The work is due to be completed by 2015.”
Sulphur capture equipment is being installed as part of a general modernisation of the smelting complex, with new emissions capture equipment installed as each phase of the plant renewal is completed. “This approach has enabled operations to continue, avoiding a shutdown and resultant loss of employment, which was a key requirement of the government,” the statement added.
Sulphur capture equipment installed to date currently captures about 50% of all sulphur dioxide emissions from the smelting complex. This equipment, the first at Mopani since the facility was first constructed in the 1930s, was installed together with the new ISA smelter and matte settling furnace.
Mopani Copper Mines CEO Emmanuel Mutati commented: “The redevelopment of Mopani has been one of the toughest engineering challenges ever tackled in Zambia, but we have made great progress towards our goal of creating a world-class operation.
“We have increased production, secured employment, and significantly reduced sulphur dioxide emissions that had been ongoing for decades before privatisation.
“We are now moving into the last phase of this work, meeting the commitments agreed with the government to create an asset that will deliver value to Zambia for decades ahead, and one that achieves world-class environmental performance by 2015,” he concluded.