Metso Insights Blog Mining and metals blog The benefits of one-stop shopping – Metso Outotec hydrometallurgical equipment and plant units as the basis of a complete technology transfer package (article 1/3)
Metals refining
Dec 11, 2019

The benefits of one-stop shopping – Metso Outotec hydrometallurgical equipment and plant units as the basis of a complete technology transfer package (article 1/3)

Have you ever considered purchasing a car, part by part, and putting it together yourself without any guarantees or after-sales services? Most likely not. However, this is still common practice when building a new plant or carrying out a modernization in greenfield and brownfield hydrometallurgical investment projects. This article highlights some of the main benefits that your business could gain from building hydrometallurgical plant key process areas from complete standardized functional equipment or predesigned modular plant units, supplied by a single responsible technology supplier providing performance and mechanical guarantees and entire plant lifecycle services with novel digital features.
Pokrovskiy hydrometallurgical plant

Outotec began its history of designing and optimizing technically and economically sound hydrometallurgical process equipment in its own Cu, Zn, Ni, and Co production plants in early 1970, later extending this work to customer plants. General equipment suppliers were not able to provide adequate process and mechanical designs for challenging hydrometallurgical conditions to guarantee process performance and equipment availability. This was the starting point of Outotec’s in-house hydrometallurgical equipment development. Our current brands like VSF® solvent extraction and OKTOP® reactor technologies, with our inhouse design and fabricated OKTOP® agitators, are examples of products originally developed and built for our own operating plants. Since then we have constantly developed our offerings and knowledge around hydrometallurgical process equipment, supplying more than 10,000 pieces of reference equipment for metallurgical mixing applications, considering Outotec’s hydrometallurgical and mineral processing equipment deliveries.     

Outotec’s in-house proprietary equipment offerings cover the whole hydrometallurgical flowsheet from processing valuable metals from ores or concentrates up to pure metals, while managing impurities and tailings streams in a sustainable manner. Outotec equipment solutions have always been aimed at optimizing metallurgical results and secure operation, in order to ensure high availability and safety. Our proprietary equipment products for hydrometallurgy include for example:

  • Outotec® SAG, Ball, and Rod Grinding Mills
  • Outotec HIGmill® High Intensity Grinding Mill
  • Outotec OKTOP® Atmospheric Leaching and Precipitation Reactors
  • Outotec OKTOP® Pressure Leaching Autoclaves (POX & HPAL)
  • Outotec® Ventilation Gas Scrubbers
  • Outotec® High Rate Thickeners
  • Outotec OKTOP® Filter Feed Tanks
  • Outotec Larox® Pressure, Vacuum Belt, and Polishing Filters
  • Outotec® Tankhouse equipment for Electrorefining, and Electrowinning (ER & EW)
  • Outotec® Slurry and Electrolyte Cooling Towers
  • Outotec Courier® SL & HX On-stream Analyzers
 Outotec hydrometallurgical process equipment
Figure 1. Selected Outotec hydrometallurgical process equipment

In addition to our hydrometallurgical equipment offerings, our portfolio also covers mineral processing equipment, allowing our technology solutions to cover the complete process from ore to metal.

The Outotec Cooling Tower – innovative, sustainable technology

Environmentally friendly technology doesn’t need to be costly and inefficient. The Outotec Cooling Tower for slurry and electrolyte cooling is one concrete example of an innovative product that demonstrates that environmentally sustainable technology doesn’t need to be more expensive or inefficient than traditional solutions. This shows the benefits that technology companies like Outotec can provide when the bar in product development is set higher than just following standard industrial design.

rift loss measurements from the Outotec Cooling Tower
Figure 2. Published drift loss measurements from the Outotec Cooling Tower (1), which, when compared to traditional industrial technology with the same footprint and cost level, provides more than double the cooling efficiency as well as significantly decreased emissions.

Link to Metso Outotec Cooling Tower Animation

The earliest possible involvement of a technology supplier with a reliable overall solution allows you to make the most out of your asset, benefitting from the lowest risk and the highest safety and sustainability. Our business is to bring added value to your project and it’s up to you to determine which of our offerings is right for you. To do this, we are glad to answer your questions and would welcome the opportunity to present our proposal in the earliest possible phase of your project.

This article will continue in the second issue to cover our approach to investing in hydrometallurgical plant units development around our proprietary equipment in order to reduce investment project risk and resource requirements through standardization and modularization. The last part of this article series will cover how to secure improved process performance and availability using our hydrometallurgical digital solutions and intelligent instruments and analyzers.

(1) European Metallurgical Conference 2017, June 25-28, Leipzig, Germany, Outotec developments in Reducing Emissions from Solution Cooling Towers, Tuomas Hirsi

Metals refining