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Joint venture is launching the first U.S. secondary copper recycling smelter

2/8/2021 -- The Ames Copper Group (ACG)—a joint venture between U.S.-based Prime Materials Recovery, Inc. (PMR), and Spain’s CuNext Group—to build a secondary copper smelter in North Carolina, USA. 

Per the PMR website and reports in recyclingtoday.com and areadevelopment.com, the SMS Group will supply the smelter. It will have the capacity to annually process up to 50,000 tons of copper anodes. The plant, scheduled for startup this year, will be the first secondary copper recycling facility in the U.S. to produce copper anodes from copper scrap and copper fines.

“The manufacturing industry is critical to our success as a nation, and this will be the only smelter in the U.S. manufacturing custom copper anodes,” said PMR CEO Bernard Schilberg. He said that China’s restrictions on copper scrap imports and the oversupply they have created in the U.S. market prompted the venture, as did the demand for copper anodes in North America. “We will be able to compete globally with the new efficient technology we are implementing.”

Based in East Hartford, Connecticut, PMR operates processing facilities in Canastota, New York; Willimantic, Connecticut; Orangeburg, South Carolina; and Hickory, North Carolina. PMR processes and brokers in excess of 35 million pounds of nonferrous metals a month. Its affiliate, IMC Metals America in Shelby, North Carolina, manufactures copper for wiring and lightning rods, as well as applications in the defense industry.

Schilberg said that CuNext has experience in copper mining and refining while PMR has experience in direct melting of copper scrap. ACG will purchase birch/cliff, No. 2 copper chops with a minimum of 90 percent copper content and copper-bearing scrap, and copper alloys with a minimum of 85% copper content. The smelter will consume 54,000 tons of scrap annually to produce 50,000 tons of 99.7% copper custom anodes. U.S. wire and cable manufacturers are key customers.

SMS will supply a tilting refining furnace, anode casting wheel, gas cleaning system, and electric and automation systems. The plant will be prepared for a future upgrade with additional digitalization features.

Read 1814 times Last modified on February 8, 2021