This Morning in Metals: Copper mine production rises 4% in January

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This morning in metals news: global copper mine production rose by 4% year over year in January; meanwhile, ELYSIS selected Rio Tinto’s Alma smelter for the installation of commercial size 450 kA inert anode prototype cells; and, lastly, U.S. Steel will not go forward with plans to have natural gas wells on a site near the Edgar Thomson steel mill.

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Global copper mine production up by 4%

copper mine

Gary Whitton/Adobe Stock

Global copper mine production rose by 4% year over year in January, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) reported.

In addition, concentrate production rose by 5% year over year.

No. 1 producer Chile’s production held flat in January. Meanwhile, No. 2 producer Peru’s output fell by 7.5% year over year.

Furthermore, global refined copper output fell by 1.2% year over year in January.

ELYSIS picks Alma smelter for inert anode prototype cells

ELYSIS, a joint venture of Alcoa and Rio Tinto, has picked Rio Tinto’s Alma smelter for the installation of 450 kA of commercial size inert anode technology.

“As part of its technology development and scale-up, ELYSIS will install industrial inert anode prototype cells at the end of an existing potline at the Alma smelter to demonstrate the technology’s effectiveness at a commercial scale in an industrial operating environment,” ELYSIS said in a release. “This will build on ongoing work at the nearby ELYSIS Industrial Research and Development Centre, also located in the Saguenay region of Quebec.”

In addition, ELYSIS said it plans to commercialize the technology by 2024 to retrofit existing facilities and for new facilities.

U.S. Steel ends natural gas project

U.S. Steel has ended plans to have natural gas wells drilled near the Edgar Thomson steel mill, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

According to the report, the steelmaker planned to use natural gas from up to 18 wells on the site for blast furnaces at the Edgar Thomson and Irvin steel mills.

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