Glencore Technology’s ISASMELT team has developed the world’s first portable furnace using the same top-submerged lance technology of a full-scale ISASMELT. It will enable operations and universities to test in a day and on location, what used to take months using an external provider.


The operation is straightforward. Oxygen enriched air is injected from the lance to produce a turbulent bath in which the feed is reacted. When required, the lance is removed and the furnace is tilted to remove the product through the front spout. The off-gas from the vessel and any fume from the tapped product is drawn away using a bespoke off-gas system.


Shipment and installation are also simplified. The F600 arrives in a shipping container, pre-tested and partially disassembled into five crates. Once assembled, its height is 3 meters (m), so it can be installed anywhere. Glencore Technology said the F600 is available to purchase for $450,000 and hire options are also available.


“The F600 is a big enabler for operations all around the world,” ISASMELT Technology Manager Dr. Stanko Nikolic said. “It’s been designed to be easy to use yet highly flexible. It’s pre-commissioned, so there are no surprises. And yet it’s customizable, so it’ll perform R&D test work on any process.”


He suggested that clients, as an owner-operator, could now replicate their existing smelter and test a sustainable operation with new feed materials, reducing risk and keeping all the know-how.


 “The F600 is flexible enough to enable a lot of objectives to be achieved,” Nikolic said. “For example, you can create a new flowsheet. You can replicate your smelter. You can test new ore bodies and feeds, like tailings and slags. Or you can easily enhance a university’s capabilities.”


The key factors, he said, were that it allows sites to test new processes and feeds, it provides clarity before and during various stages of a project and it’s affordable and easy to use.