ZincOx Resources report that production at their EAF dust recycling plant in Korea (KRP) has steadily increased since start-up at the end of April 2012.
From the beginning of December in particular, there has been a marked improvement in the reliability of the plant with increasingly fewer stoppages and reduced maintenance downtime. Prior to a shut-down for maintenance on 25 December EAF dust throughput reached 10.35kt/month compared with 8.75kt in November and 7.45kt in October 2012.
The plant restarted on 6 January when it reached 93% of first year target capacity of 15.5kt/m. The target for Q4 2013 is 17.7kt/m (210kt/y). These tonnages allow for the scheduled three week annual inspection and maintenance closure.
The plant uses a rotary hearth furnace to produces both zinc oxide concentrate which is sold to a zinc processor for recovery of the metal and direct reduced iron which is hot briquetted for recycling to steelmakers.
As previously announced, the hot briquetting circuit which takes the hot briquettes and makes them into an intermediate iron product (ZHBI), caused problems, and while many of these issues have been resolved, it is likely to be some weeks before this part of the plant will be in full continuous operation. Zinc concentrate production, which accounts for over 85% of projected revenue, should not be affected significantly by this delay.
Over the next few months there will, from time to time, be short stoppages for the installation of new equipment designed to improve efficiency, but there will be an increasing focus on optimising the operating conditions to increase zinc recovery and iron metallisation and reduce costs.
ZincOx plan to build a second recycling unit in Korea once the KRP 1 process is proven.