Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co. Ltd., which smelted the first copper ingot after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, is one of the backbone enterprises in Anhui.
However, after thousands of years of exploitation, Tongling becomes a resource-exhausted city. Environmental problems have arisen from long-term mining and smelting. In the face of shortage of resources and environmental pressures, how could the enterprise undergo smoothly and successfully the transformation from resource-relying development to high-quality development?
For the prevention and control of water pollution, Ni Jun, a staff member of Gold Crown Branch of Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co. Ltd., is quite confident. He said the plant could collect and treat rainwater, wastewater, sewage and cooling water separately.
For Liu Guolin, director of the mineral processing workshop, his work is to completely process the slag sent from the smelting furnace. The smelting slag was ground into powder in the ore dressing workshop, and then smelted again by foam flotation technology. By doing so, a total of 19,000 tons of copper could be recovered annually.
Sulfur dioxide, a common polluting gas in copper smelters, is also a source of pungent smells in some factories. But Gold Crown Branch of Tongling Nongerrous Metals Group Co. Ltd. has a highly-competent professional team to deal with sulfur dioxide.
A pipe zigzags hundreds of meters above the smelting furnace and extends to the sulfuric acid workshop on the other side of the factory. Wang Xian, a waste acid technician in the workshop, works every day to increase the efficiency of sulfur containing waste gas to sulfuric acid. He said that after a series of procedures including purification, fog removal and drying, the total sulfur capture capacity of the company can be highly upgraded to as high as 99.97 percent.
China’s first copper smelter—Tongling First Plant of Nonferrous Metallurgy, has been listed in 2008 as backward production capacity and has been completely closed. Tongling Second Plant of Nonferrous Metallurgy which was built in 1970s was permanently closed in April 2017. “Technological upgrading and environmental protection are still an urgent task.” Jiang Peijin said.
Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co. Ltd. started from mining. When the mineral resources begin to be exhausted, smelting and processing became the priority. Jiang Peijin said that his company would further extend the copper smelting and processing industry chain, targeting high-end products. That will be the only way for enterprise development.
Copper foil for lithium batteries with a thickness of only a few microns is an important raw material for batteries and also a high value-added copper processing product.
“the processing cost has once reached 30,000 to 40,000 yuan per ton, exceeding the price of the raw materials.” Jiang Peijin said that the current domestic new energy automotive power battery industry is booming. The copper foil industry has ushered in an important opportunity.
Yi Zhihui, a senior technical director of Jinwei Copper Industry Co., Ltd. which is affiliated to Tongling Nonferrous Metals Co., Ltd., said that even today, we do not have many name brands of alloys with independent intellectual property rights. However, our company can produce a series of copper strops with thickness of 0.5 to 3.0 mm and maximum width of 1220 mm.
Gao Weilin said, “at present, we have reached the leading level in some high-end copper alloy manufacturing. In the future, more and more domestic copper alloy products will be used in high-end electronic devices. ”