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Tripathi N.,Xstrata Process Support Center | Peek E.,Xstrata Process Support Center | Stroud M.,BCL Ltd
JOM | Year: 2011

Since 1973 Bamangwato Concessions Limited (BCL) has operated a nickel-copper smelter in Selebi-Phikwe, Botswana. The smelter treats concentrates from local mines and various custom feed concentrates. The nickel throughput capacity of this smelter is constrained by a low nickel feed grade in its primary BCL concentrate. BCL contracted Xstrata Process Support (XPS) to assist in identifying key economic drivers to maximize revenue-generating opportunities. After the disclosure of essential BCL plant performance data XPS developed and utilized advanced metallurgical modeling techniques to identify production bottlenecks, calculate Ni, Cu, and Co recoveries, manage the slag volumes, increase the custom feed capacity, and perform various feasibility analyses for key unit process operations in the BCL smelter. The methodology for developing the process model and its application in contributing to the economic bottom line are outlined in this paper. © 2011 TMS.

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