Global copper producer and smelter Aurubis plans to expand its facility at Beerse, Belgium to include a recycling plant to process anode sludge. The company plans to invest €27mn ($31.88mn) in the construction of the new recycling plant.
The new plant will help the company produce more precious metals as anode sludge—an intermediate byproduct of the electrolytic copper refining process—will facilitate faster extraction of precious metals such as silver and gold, as well as tin when it is processed at the new facility.
Dirk Vandenberghe, managing director of the Beerse facility said that the new plant was integral in Aurubis’ goal to strengthen the circular economy as the new process will allow for more extraction of precious metals using the same byproduct, thereby increasing the volume of reusable metal products.
Aurubis acquired the Beerse site through its acquisition of Metallo last year and plans to use the integration of this company in the Aurubis group to grow the firm into an integrated global smelter network.
The Beerse site processes around 250,000mt of metal scrap per year. Aurubis’ scrap metal processing capabilities increased to around 1mn mt annually after the acquisition of the Metallo Group in 2020.