After the reconstruction of the metallurgical facilities, a flash furnace was ignited in the Bor Smelter
Djedović: Investments in the environment take on a full meaning with the completion of this Smelter
US$320 million was invested in the technical reconstruction and expansion of the Bor smelter production capacity, of which only 100 million dollars were invested in environmental protection systems. – Such large projects also imply a great responsibility towards the local community, and the task of the state is to work together with the citizens and the management of the company to find the fastest and most sustainable solutions in the interest of the employees, and also the people who have lived here for generations, said Dubravka Djedović. – Jian Ximing: This is a historic moment for Bor because the company of Serbia Zijin Copper is forever changing the ecological conditions in the city and restoring the sky it had a century ago. – The reconstructed smelter will use clean natural gas instead of fuel oil, coal, and other highly polluting fuels, and the concentration of powdery substances will not exceed five milligrams per regular cubic meter, which is in accordance with the European Union environmental standards. – When the smelter starts operating, 180 to 200 thousand tons of high purity cathode copper will be produced annually, with three tons of gold and 700 thousand tons of sulfuric acid. The annual production value will exceed two billion US dollars
SZC. – The first of March, when in the presence of the Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Djedović and the mayor of Bor, Aleksandar Milikić, a flash furnace was ignited in the reconstructed smelter in Bor, will be remembered as the day when Serbia Zijin Copper forever got rid of the outdated copper smelting method and started operation with clean technologies. Namely, the equipment that was used so far in the systems where main metallurgical processes take place, such as converters, power plants, anode furnaces, and electrolytic refining, was not modernized in terms of fuel consumption, because even after 2015 (when the former RTB Bor conducted only partial reconstruction of equipment) traditional energy sources were used, such as wood, coal and fuel oil. This increased carbon dioxide emissions, and also made it challenging to control pollution and energy consumption in the smelter. All this made it impossible to adapt metallurgy to requirements related to clean, low carbon emissions, and environmental protection..
–When the company Zijin became a strategic partner of the Republic of Serbia five years ago, ambitious goals and a vision of the kind of mining we want were established. Year after year, we have witnessed the results of this cooperation through the realization of investment, the growth of exports, also the increase in the number of employees, and the improvement of working conditions. All this had a significant impact on the quality of life of the citizens of this part of Serbia. For the Ministry, the Government of Serbia, and also for all the citizens of Bor, it is especially important that environmental protection goes hand in hand with the increase in living standards. Investments in the environment take on a full meaning with the completion of this smelter. Apart from multiple benefits for the company, employees, and the state, this smelter will provide what the citizens of Bor have been missing for decades – better air quality and better working conditions. Such large projects carry with them a great responsibility towards the local community, and the task of the state is to work together with the citizens and the company management to find the fastest and most sustainable solutions in the interest of the employees, and of the people who have lived here for generations. Thank you the citizens of Bor for their patience, to all the Zijin workers for their dedication, to our Chinese partners for realizing this important investment – said the Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Djedović at the ceremony held in the Bor smelter on the occasion of the start of the flash furnace commissioning.
After taking over RTB Bor, the Serbia Zijin Copper management carried out an assessment of the production capacity and equipment used in the technological process, as well as the environmental protection system and energy consumption indicators in TIR, so in 2019, the Chinese Design Institute “Nerin” was entrusted with the development of the production capacity expansion project and the technical reconstruction of the Bor smelter. In April last year, due to the project design, the production process in the smelter stopped.
– The reconstructed smelter will use pure natural gas instead of fuel oil, coal, and other highly polluting fuels, and the concentration of powdery substances will not exceed five milligrams per regular cubic meter, which is in accordance with the environmental standards of the European Union. Also, industrial wastewater will be treated and reused in production, and the total carbon emission will be reduced to 0.62 tons of carbon dioxide per ton of cathode copper produced. At the same time, the energy consumption index will be reduced to 193.5 kilograms of standard coal per ton of cathode, thus reaching the international standard – said the General Manager of Serbia Zijin Copper, Jian Ximing at the ceremony on the occasion of igniting the flash furnace.
He also reminded that in 2021, the company invested US$30 million in the construction of the flue gas treatment system alone. The desulfurization plant, as he pointed out, immediately proved to be extremely efficient, so already that year sulfur dioxide emissions were reduced by over 90 percent.
– I am sure that this project, through the implementation of the most modern technologies and world standards in environmental protection, will change the direction of the development of green mining. Thanks to the efforts of President Aleksandar Vučić, who recognized the importance of a strategic partner, Bor is today a modern mining town with great economic growth and has the highest average salary per capita in Serbia – pointed out the mayor of Bor, Aleksandar Milikić.
The technical reconstruction, expansion, and construction project of TIR lasted two and a half years and, according to the General Manager of Serbia Zijin Copper, with US$320 million invested in it. Of that amount, 100 million was invested in environmental protection systems alone.
– Apart from upgrading the flash furnace to the original system, other plants were newly built. It is a new metallurgical technology and equipment that are leading in this industry. When the smelter starts operating, we will have 180 to 200 thousand tons of high-purity cathode copper produced per year, with about three tons of gold, and 700 thousand tons of sulfuric acid. The value of the annual production will be over two billion US dollars, and Bor will become a green, low-carbon, and sustainable base of non-ferrous metals in Serbia, and in Europe too- said Jian Ximing.
In the next four weeks, the flash furnace should reach a temperature of 1,200 degrees and by the end of March, when the first anode is poured, it will be in full condition to melt 114 tons of copper concentrate per hour. – This is a historic moment for the company of Serbia Zijin Copper because clean technology will provide clear skies, and also because we will significantly increase copper, gold, and silver production with the operation of the reconstructed smelter. Therefore, I extend my sincere congratulations to the management and employees of the TIR Branch. Thank you everyone who helped make this happen, first of all to the Zijin Mining Group, the Government of Serbia, and the experts of the Chinese Institute “Nerin” who was in charge of the design, then to the subcontractors and others who participated in the implementation of this project – said the General Manager of Serbia Zijin Copper Jian Ximing.