Amplats taking steps to control emissions from South African platinum smelter

Following the signing of new regulations that limit the amounts of sulfur (SO2) that mining operations are allowed to emit, Anglo American Platinum (JSE: AMS) decided to implement a new technology at its platinum smelter facility in Polokwane, northern South Africa.

The No.1 producer of the transition metal enrolled Denmark’s Haldor Topsøe in a project aimed at installing a Wet gas Sulfuric Acid emissions control technology at the smelter. The $1.1 million plan should be completed in a couple of years.

Also known as WSA, the plant is designed to reduce emissions of SO2 from around 90,000 mg/Nm3 to less than 1,200 mg/Nm3 and, at the same time, produce up to 148 tonnes per day of commercial-grade sulfuric acid.

According to Haldor Topsøe, the recovery process is energy-efficient because it uses no or very little support fuel and requires only minimal cooling water.