Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
BAKKER, M.L.; NIKOLIC, S.; BURROWS, A.S. and ALVEAR, G.R.F.. ISACONVERTTM: continuous converting of nickel/PGM mattes. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2011, vol.111, n.10, pp. 659-664. ISSN 2411-9717.
The ISASMELTTM top submerged lance (TSL) bath smelting process was developed in Mount Isa, Australia by Mount Isa Mines Limited (now a subsidiary of Xstrata plc) during the 1980s. By the end of 2011, the total installed capacity of the ISASMELTTM technology will exceed 8 000 000 metric tons per year of feed materials in copper and lead smelters around the world. Commercial plants, operating in Belgium and Germany, are also batch converting copper materials in ISASMELTTM furnaces. This TSL technology is equally effective for continuous converting processes, in which role it is called ISACONVERTTM. This paper presents the recently patented ISACONVERTTM process for the continuous converting of nickel and platinum group metal (PGM) containing mattes using the calcium ferrite slag system. The paper focuses on the potential application of the ISACONVERTTM technology to existing nickel and PGM smelting complexes.
Keywords : pyrometallurgy; top submerged lance (TSL); nickel; PGM; calcium ferrite; lime ferrite.