Solvent extraction

Solvent extraction

Diverse extraction expertise

Metso continues to pioneer proven solvent extraction technology with an emphasis on delivering economically viable and safe plants producing the most sustainable and high-quality metals
Leading technology

World’s largest Cu SX plants use Metso VSF® SX technology

Leading sustainability

Minimized volatile organic compounds emissions & energy consumption

Leading modularity

20% reduction in lead time with less on-site installation work

Gaining wide acceptance as one of the new tools of hydrometallurgy

With the growing demand for higher purity metals, the increasing use of new metals such as battery metals, and the need for lower operation and investment costs, together with more reliable and environmentally friendly process, solvent extraction process is gaining wider ground in hydrometallurgy applications. 

Today, around 25% of the world's copper is recovered by solvent extraction, which has been found to be the most cost-effective method of producing high-quality cathode material.

Introducing Metso Solvent extraction capabilities

Introducing Metso Solvent extraction capabilities

For nearly 40 years, Metso has been developing its wide range of solvent extraction technologies, delivering both equipment and processes to its customers. Our VSF (Vertical Smooth Flow) plants offer lower lifetime costs, significantly shorter lead times, and sustainable life-cycle technology built on decades of experience in solvent extraction. Metso is the only technology provider that offers a highly predefined but still tailor-made total delivery package based on your needs.

In the solvent extraction process phase, metal in the pregnant leach solution (PLS) is concentrated and purified into electrolytes. The pure electrolyte is then used in electrowinning to produce a chemically and physically high-quality product.

Core benefits:

  • Highest guaranteed 8m3/m2/h settling rate
  • Highest volumetric throughputs
  • Lowest guaranteed entrainment values e.g., 20-30ppm O in A
  • Wide process applications, suitable for all plant sizes
  • In-built design flexibility to tolerate operational disturbances
  • Safest available technology for the operators
  • Minimized leakage risks
  • Competitive & extensive process guarantee for its SX technology solution delivery
  • Lower investment, installation, and operational costs    
  • Short pre-commissioning time due to prefabricated and tested modules
  • Container sized settler units for logistics

Solvent extraction comprehensive scope of supply

Metso offers optimised solutions and complete plants for the production of high-quality copper cathodes through innovative leaching, solvent extraction and electrowinning technologies. Metso technology package for solvent extraction plants may contain basic and/or detailed engineering as well as proprietary and key equipment supply.





VSF® Plant Unit

VSF® X Modular Plant Unit 

Crud treatment Unit

Dual Media (DM) filter

Activated Carbon (AC) filter

SX plant core basic engineering




DispersionSense (view inside SX settlers)

Generic and tailored Geminex™

Courier analyzer

Ventilation gas scrubbers







Flowsheet development and studies

Kinetic batch testing of leaching

Pilot testing


Solvent extraction comprehensive scope of supply
Read the customer case:
How Metso leading-edge SX-EW technology is helping to maximize RoI at the world’s largest SX facility, Grupo México’s ESDE III copper SX-EW plant


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