Ausmelt wins first lead smelter contract in China

Ausmelt has won its first lead smelter contract in China. The company will supply a lead smelter with a capacity to produce 100,000 t/y of lead to Yunnan Tin Company Ltd (YTCL) in China’s Yunnan province. Under the contract, Ausmelt will provide lead smelting technology, design engineering services, commissioning services and equipment.

This is the second smelting contract Ausmelt has signed with YTCL. The first, in 1999, was for a tin smelter to process 50,000 t of tin concentrate a year. Ausmelt and YTCL established an excellent working relationship and worked closely together to start up the tin plant in record time. This plant has been operating successfully since 2002 and has achieved throughput rates well in excess of its design capacity.

In 2005, YTCL won China’s prestigious National Scientific and Development Award for the tin project. YTCL Vice General Manager, Lan Xu, said at the contract signing that, after extensive study, YTCL had concluded that Ausmelt technology provides a unique combination of technical, environmental and economic advantages which, together, make it the best available solution for lead smelting. Lan said that the new lead project is a major part of YTCL’s plan to grow their business substantially over the next few years.

Ausmelt Managing Director, Paul Abbott today congratulated YTCL on its expansion into lead production and said that Ausmelt’s top submerged lance technology was well-positioned to play a significant role in the modernization of China’s lead industry. He said the Chinese Government had recently announced new regulations that would require all new lead smelters to have a minimum production capacity of 100,000 t/y.

This is the eighth TSL smelting project Ausmelt has won in China and is the fourth Chinese project the company has won this calendar year. The company recently won its second contract in Russia, to provide basic engineering design and technology licensing to a major metallurgical company in the CIS. Abbott said Ausmelt had won a record five contracts in 2005-06 and had already won two new projects since balance date.