Metals and Recycling

PolyMet Solutions
Metals and recycling

PolyMet Solutions supplies innovative methods for all process steps in primary copper and nickel production. That starts from primary smelting of the ore/concentrate and finishes with electrolysis applying
METTOP-BRX Technology.

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It takes a series of chemical, physical, and electrochemical processes to convert copper and nickel. Various methods have evolved. They differ according to the nature of the ore, local environmental regulations, and other factors. The basic distinction is between primary and secondary process routes.

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What mainly determines the suitable secondary copper process route is the scrap quality available. Our joint venture and partners supply all the necessary units for efficient copper production via the secondary route. Especially important here is the gas treatment.

That’s because the input material varies significantly in its content of organic components. Here, advanced gas cleaning solutions are essential to capture components such as mercury, bromine, fluorine, and chlorine.

Lead, zinc, tin

Solutions for lead, zinc and tin

Lead ore is usually roasted to obtain lead oxide, then converted into metallic lead in shaft furnaces or other smelting units such as QSL, KIVCET, Vanyukov, TBRC, TSL or OBBF. Next in line is a multiple process route, which refines the pig lead. Recycled lead is produced in either short rotary furnaces or a combination of reverberatory furnace and slag reduction unit. Typically, lead ores contain larger amounts of zinc. That‘s a useful byproduct. The normal process for zinc ores starts with roasting to produce ZnO. This is followed by either hydrometallurgical treatment or pyrometallurgical reduction in electric furnaces, TBRC, or TLS for enriched zinc oxide production. Tin is processed by carbothermic reduction of oxide ore in either electric or reverberatory furnaces. Whatever your process is, PolyMet Solutions offers you a wide range of improvements and support.

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Ideal for smelting Pb and Zn containing concentrates

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Electric furnace

As either a primary smelter for concentrates, or a secondary smelter for Pb and Zn sources

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TBRC process

Applied either as a secondary smelter or for refining lead-bearing bullion

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Reverberatory furnace

Operation as a secondary smelter for Pb/Zn sources

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QSL Reactor

For primary Pb concentrate and secondary materials

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TSL process

Operation as a secondary smelter for Pb and Zn sources

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Operating as a smelter for secondary smelter for Pb and Zn bearing sources

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OBBF reactor

Operation as a secondary smelter for Pb and Zn sources


Recovering materials is essential for a better and cleaner environment, and it will become increasingly important for coming generations. Metal recycling requires sequences of metallurgical treatment steps. It recovers valuable resources and saves primary energy as well as primary raw materials. Effective recycling maximizes the recovery rate by avoiding or reducing the generation of hazardous wastes. The flow chart below illustrates the principles.

Metal bearing wastes such as
E-waste, batteries, catalysts, ...

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There are valuable components especially in wastes such as E-waste, batteries, and catalysts, as well as contaminated dumps like “red mud” from aluminum production. These resources are well worth recovering. More metals are waiting to be extracted from former dumps and deposits from the copper, nickel, lead, and zinc industries. Depending on the input material, the waste is treated with pyro and hydrometallurgical processes, or a combination of both.

Recycling application

  • Clean off-gas
  • Acids
  • Based special metals:
    Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni, Sb, Sn, Bi, Se, In
  • Precious metals:
    Ag, Au, Pt, Pd, Rh, Ir
  • Clean slag
  • Clean water
  • Controlled deposit


Mettop is shareholder of UrbanGold

Best recycling technology
for electronic waste

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Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) – also referred to as electronic waste or E-waste – is one of the fastest growing waste streams. It’s increasing by 3-5% per year. More than 40 million t of WEEE are collected each year – not including the amounts that are landfilled or incinerated.&nb

Recycling efforts usually focus on the most valuable types, for example: printed circuit boards. Lower-quality material is barely considered and hardly ever recycled. Yet it’s still a source of valuable and critical raw materials (CRMs). UrbanGold Technology provides a solution for proper metallurgical treatment of all non-ferrous qualities of WEEE material – including the lowest qualities such as:

  • Spent printed circuit boards (PCBs) and waste from the production of PCBs
  • Non-ferrous and precious metals containing shredder fractions and shredder residues
  • Sorted non-ferrous and precious metals containing components and modules
  • Non-ferrous and precious metals containing residues, slimes, slags, and dusts

The benefits are obvious:

  • Treatment of fractions from WEEE by High-Energy Noble Reactor “HENRI”
  • Superior bath smelting vessel
  • Innovatively cooled lower furnace “powered by METTOP ILTEC”
  • Super-efficient reduction process
  • Multi-stage post combustion
  • Optimized waste heat usage
  • Latest off-gas treatment
  • Simple maintenance
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