ZincOx Resources plc has completed pre-feasibility studies on an integrated zinc and iron recycling project, which will include a new facility in Ohio and the modification and refurbishment of the Big River Zinc plant near St Louis, MO.
Commenting on the announcement, Andrew Woollett, ZincOx’s chairman said, “These two projects, together with our new Turkish Project, complete the operating structure for our first fully integrated zinc, lead and iron recycling concept. This structure will enable us to recycle virtually all the valuable metals found in electric arc furnace dust (EAFD), a problematic waste material produced when galvanized steel is recycled. This structure and the proprietary technology involved represents a blueprint that we intend to repeat elsewhere in the world.”
At the Ohio Project, a rotary hearth furnace will be used to treat EAFD to recover zinc and lead in an oxide concentrate (HZO) and to recover the contained iron as a direct reduced iron (DRI) product. The DRI will be melted in a small electric furnace that will produce a clean slag suitable for construction purposes, as well as pig iron, which will be sold to the steel industry. The plant will be designed to treat 200,000 tonnes per annum of EAFD for the production of 48,000 tonnes of zinc contained in HZO and about 50,000 tonnes of pig iron. The HZO will be sent to Big River Zinc for the recovery of the valuable metals. The Ohio plant will take approximately 18 months to construct at a capital cost of about US$107million.
In June 2006, ZincOx acquired the Big River Zinc smelter in Sauget, IL. The HZO from both the Ohio Project and from the Aliaga project in Turkey will be processed at BRZ. The zinc contained in the HZO will be dissolved in BRZ’s refurbished leach plant. The resultant zinc bearing solution will be purified in a new solvent extraction circuit, prior to conventional zinc recovery using BRZ’s existing electrowinning, melting and casting equipment to produce zinc ingots. Big River will be designed to produce 90,000 tonnes of special high grade quality zinc metal per annum. The refurbishment of the Big River plant and installation of solvent extraction will take approximately 16 months at a cost of about US$90million. Production is targeted to begin in mid-2008.
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