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New Aurubis facility ‘largest of its kind’

Germany – German copper recycler Aurubis has opened a new facility – said to be the largest of its kind in the world – for the recovery of precious metals from anode sludge. Last week’s start-up ceremony for the Hamburg plant was attended by German federal environment minister Peter Altmaier and Aurubis ceo Peter Willbrandt.

Construction began in 2010 and overall cost has exceeded Euro 50 million, of which approximately 30% has gone into environmental protection facilities. A portion of the system was funded through the Environmental Innovation Programme of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment.

The new facility makes possible the central processing of precious metal anode slimes coming from electrolysis in Belgium, Bulgaria and Germany. It replaces existing plant capacities which were deemed no longer adequate for today’s requirements.

With the new plant, Aurubis is capable of processing around 8000 tonnes of anode slimes per year. Gold production at the Hamburg facility could increase from 35 to 50 tons per annum, the company states.

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