Construction of acid plant at smelter to be completed this year

04 Mar 2014 13:30pm
By: Maggy Thomas
TORONTO, 04 MAR (NAMPA) - Dundee Precious Metals (DPM) plans to finish its construction of sulphuric acid and oxygen plants in Tsumeb towards the end of this year, the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer Rick Howes told Nampa on Sunday.
The total cost of construction is estimated at N.dollars 240 million.
The Canadian-based DPM is the 100 per cent shareholder of the former Namibia Custom Smelters, now known as Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb.
Howes said the smelter is edging close to producing approximately 240 000 tonnes of copper concentrate per year, as planned at full production.
He said currently, the company produces 190 000 tonnes to 220 0000 tonnes of concentrate copper per year.
The sulphuric acid facility will treat smelter off-gas and produce sulphuric acid, while the oxygen plant will allow for increased and cleaner production of the copper concentrate.
With a further increase of oxygen to the smelter planned for this year, smelting should increase to approximately 240 000 tonnes of copper concentrate per year.
“We are one of the largest investors in Namibia, with major investments underway to upgrade and modernise the old Tsumeb smelter to become a world-class smelting facility,” he said, adding that what was once a very small facility designed to treat complex copper mines is now becoming a very significant smelting facility designed to treat complex copper concentrates from around the world.
In March 2010, Weatherly sold the smelter to Dundee Precious Metals Inc. for N.dollars 33 million in cash and shares, with Weatherly retaining all mining assets.
The company currently employs 800 people directly at its operations in Tsumeb, and it expects to employ an additional 1 000 people during the upcoming construction phase.
On Sunday, Dundee Precious Metals’ management hosted a dinner in honour of the visiting Namibian business delegation which is led by Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob.
The business delegation is in Canada to attend the annual mining conference and expo, currently underway in Toronto.