At its Beerse site, Aurubis, a non-ferrous metals supplier, has started construction of approximately €33 million hydrometallurgical recycling plant ASPA (Advanced Sludge Processing by Aurubis) in Belgium. The building is expected to be put into operation in 2024–2025. The company’s reputation as a global integrated, sustainable smelter network is anticipated to improve as a result.
Anode sludge will be processed at this hydrometallurgical recycling plant in Belgium. Anode sludge is a crucial intermediate product from electrolytic copper refining. It is produced at the company’s recycling facilities in Beerse and Lünen, Germany. With the new method, tin from the anode sludge should be completely recovered. Additionally, more precious metals, like gold and silver, can be extracted more quickly.
Dr. Heiko Arnold, the COO of Aurubis, stated: “Metal recycling is an area of growth for Aurubis. We significantly advance the circular economy in this way. Our metals are the cornerstone of the urgently required advancement in the switch to renewable energy, electric transportation, and a world that is becoming more and more digital.”
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Benefits of the hydrometallurgical recycling plant in Belgium
“ASPA demonstrates our clear commitment to our long-term strategy to strengthen and secure our core business. This is as well as leading in sustainability in our industry,” says the company.
According to Dr. Dirk Vandenberghe, managing director of Aurubis Beerse, “Aurubis is creating synergies in the Group by methodically linking the European sites with ASPA and optimising the intermediate material flows. “Our local know-how and expertise directly enrich society as well: With our investment in the recycling sector, we are generating new jobs in the Flanders region.”
Each year, the Aurubis Beerse plant processes about 250,000t of scrap multimetal. The scrap used to produce metals, metal products, and minerals ranges from complex residues to higher-grade scraps. Aurubis has strengthened its position as a copper recycler since acquiring the locations in Beerse and Berango, Spain, about two years ago. The company now processes over 1 million tonnes of recyclable materials each year.