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First Quantum Minerals to expand Kansanshi copper mine with MECS technology for smelter

Global copper company First Quantum Minerals Ltd. has contracted with MECS, Inc. (MECS), a subsidiary of Elessent Clean Technologies, for the Kansanshi Smelter Expansion at the Kansanshi Mine in Solwezi, Zambia. The MECS scope will include a redesign of the existing sulfur-burning sulfuric acid plant into a copper smelter off-gas recovery sulfuric acid plant.

This transition to a copper smelter off-gas recovery acid plant will enable First Quantum to reduce emissions from the existing copper smelter, increase production at the mine, and supply more copper to the global market which will enable the adoption of greener technologies.

The MECS sulfuric acid design for First Quantum incorporates products and technologies such as MECS catalyst for low emissions and high conversion, Brink mist eliminators for superior mist elimination and ZeCor alloy towers, ZeCor pump tank and UniFlo acid distributor technology for operational reliability and efficiency.

Startup of the Kansanshi Smelter Expansion at the mine site in Solwezi, Zambia is expected to take place in 2025.

The MECS sulfuric acid technology has been in use for nearly a century in the phosphate fertilizer, non-ferrous metals (leaching & smelting), oil refining and general chemical industries. MECS technologies feature solutions that have revolutionized the performance, quality and cost-effectiveness of customer operations. They include MECS heat recovery systems (HRS), MECS SolvR regenerative SO2 scrubbing and MECS MAX3 sulfuric acid production technology.

Integrated into these MECS technologies are proven specialty products such as catalysts, Brink mist eliminators, DynaWave scrubbers, ZeCor corrosion resistant alloy products, and acid coolers all of which are specifically designed for the most demanding operating environments.

Marketed by Elessent Clean Technologies, the MECS technology is the world-leading sulfuric acid production technology with more than 1,000 sulfuric acid plant licenses and projects.


Kansanshi is an open pit mine, with the adjacent 1.38 Mtpa smelter. Fity Quantum’s S3 Expansion will boost production by 25 Mtpa (first production 2H 2025), and will be accommpanied by the smelter expansion to 1.6 Mtpa.


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