Aurubis builds facility to recycle more nickel and copper

Aurubis is investing €70 million in building an energy-efficient bleed treatment facility at its Olen site. The start of construction is planned for September 2022. BOB commissioning is planned for summer 2024.

BOB will use a hydrometallurgical process to recover valuable metals such as nickel and copper from electrolyte streams generated in the metal production tank houses at the Aurubis sites in Beerse and Olen, Belgium. “The installation comprises a complete tank house purification system known as bleed treatment”, the company reports. Aurubis expects an EBITDA contribution of about €15 million upon full operation of the new facility in the fiscal year 2025/26.

As a high-performance metal recycling site in the Aurubis smelter network, the Olen plant processes blister copper and up to 135,000 tonnes of multimetal recycling materials annually, producing copper cathodes, Aurubis Rod, Foxrod, and bars and profiles. The Beerse plant processes more than 250,000 tonnes of complex recycling materials and operates a copper tank house. BOB is an important addition to the Belgian production cluster to extract nickel and copper from material flows and remove impurities from the bleed.

“With BOB, we are introducing an energy-efficient and fast process step that extracts nickel – an indispensable metal for lithium-ion batteries and, thus, an important component for the megatrend of e-mobility,” said Dr Heiko Arnold,

Chief Operations Officer at Aurubis. The company is creating 35 new jobs in Olen. wire / Hall 12 / C32

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