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Mining and metals refining
Nov 20, 2019

Outotec at the COM hosted copper 2019 conference in Vancouver

The 10th Copper conference was held in Vancouver from 18–21 August in connection with COM 2019. The conference had representation from 37 countries and included 311 presentations and a total of 954 registered attendees.
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Outotec had a strong presence at the conference, with seven papers related to pyrometallurgy, two on hydromet, and one on roaster optimization. We also hosted an event on the Monday evening for our customers and partners.

Our smelting-related papers included:

  • Outotec’s Fully Automated Smelter 2020 – the Vision, the Status, and the Future
  • The Past 70 Years of Flash Smelting
  • Outotec® Flash Smelting Technology Development
  • Flowsheets of the Future
  • Decarbonization of the Outotec® Ausmelt Process
  • Outotec Solutions for Processing E-Scrap
  • Detailed OPEX Comparison of Modern Copper Smelting Technologies Using HSC-SIM Modeling

The OPEX comparison of modern copper smelting technologies attracted an especially high turnout even though it was scheduled for late on Wednesday afternoon as the last presentation of the conference. The subject also raised a lot of discussion and showed how valuable process comparison using modern simulation and modeling tools can be.

Key takeaways

The digitalization hype is evident and we can see more and more solutions becoming reality. It seems that many are working in this domain, but those who have digitalization expertise are better placed to deliver results and value faster. Some of the key issues we can tackle efficiently through digitalization are often related to safety and productivity improvements.

The rise of circular-economy thinking brings with it an increase in the introduction of scrap copper and e-scrap, as they provide good opportunities for primary producers to increase production and extract value.

Concerns related to climate change haven’t really led to much activity in copper smelting, but change is coming soon. Getting ready to switch away from coal-based fossil reductants will be one of the challenges faced by the industry in the coming years.

In conclusion, the topics we decided to present at the conference are well aligned with the challenges and opportunities in our industry. The International Copper Conference has once again proved itself a good platform to meet with friends and colleagues in the industry.

Preparing for the conference

A conference in Vancouver, especially if you’re traveling from the Nordic countries and Australia, means you have to first get rid of your jet lag in order to be 100% present. To overcome this problem, a team of Outotecians decided to conquer the Grouse Mountain Grind late on Sunday afternoon: a 2.5 km hike up a mountain with a total ascent of 800 m. Having dinner after the Grind puts you to sleep instantly – then you wake up refreshed and in good shape for the long conference days ahead.

COM2019
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