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Aurubis (DE) goes all out for circular economy in Flanders

Flanders’ circular economy is getting stronger by the day – and a recent project announced by Aurubis only underscores that strength! The German copper production and recycling leader is channeling EUR 70 million into the construction of a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient bleed treatment facility at its Olen site in Flanders. The main goal? To further boost its nickel and copper recycling capability.

Recovering valuable metals

Scheduled to be fully operational in the 2025-2026 fiscal year, the new Flanders-based facility will include a complete tank house purification system that enables a process known as a ‘bleed treatment’. Hence its name ‘Bleed treatment Olen Beerse’, or ‘BOB’ for short. The company’s overall ambition is to recover valuable metals – such as nickel and copper – from streams of electrolytes that are generated in the metal production tank houses at the Aurubis sites in Beerse and Olen, both situated in Flanders.

The new Aurubis project in Olen is entirely dedicated to the circular economy and sustainability. The adaptation of the production process ensures that less nickel is lost and that fewer goods need to be sent to the company’s Lünen plant in Germany, which means a reduction of around 10 trucks per day.

Jessica Manthey
Invest Deputy at Flanders Investment & Trade in Berlin

Strengthening Flanders’ and Europe’s circular economy

As Europe’s largest copper producer and the world’s biggest copper recycler, Aurubis is going full out for the circular economy. The German company’s Olen site in Flanders – known as a high-performance metal recycling site in the Aurubis smelter network – plays a crucial part in this ambition. In addition to blister copper, the Olen plant in Olen processes up to 135,000 tons of multi-metal recycling materials per year, as well as producing copper cathodes via electro refinery, etc.

But it doesn’t end there. The company’s second Flanders-based plant – in Beerse – processes over 250,000 tons of complex recycling materials and operates a copper tank house. BOB is an important addition to Flanders’ manufacturing cluster for extracting nickel and copper from material flows as well as removing impurities from the bleed.

With BOB in Flanders, we are introducing an energy-efficient and fast process step that extracts nickel – an indispensable metal for lithium-ion batteries and thus an important component for the megatrend of e-mobility. The new facility is another prime example of how Aurubis realizes synergies in its smelter network and contributes significantly to the European circular economy.

Heiko Arnold
COO of Aurubis

More info

Aurubis
Reported by
press release Aurubis
4 April 2022

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