Glencore Technology’s ISASMELT group has introduced what it claims is the world’s first portable furnace using the same unique top-submerged lance technology of a full-scale ISASMELT.

The ISASMELT F600, said the company, will enable operations and universities to test — in a day and on location — what would normally take months using an external provider.

During furnace operation, oxygen-enriched air is injected from the lance to produce a turbulent bath in which the feed is reacted. The lance is removed and the furnace tilted to the product through the front spout. The off-gas from the vessel and possible fumes from the tapped product are removed using a bespoke off-gas system.

Shipment and installation are also simplified, according to the company. The F600 arrives in a shipping container, pretested and partially disassembled into five crates. Once assembled, it stands 3 m (10 ft) at its highest point.

ISASMELT Technology Manager Dr. Stanko Nikolic said, “The F600 is a big enabler for operations all around the world.  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 owner-operator, could now replicate their existing smelter and test sustainable operations 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.  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,” Nikolic said.

Its key benefits, he said, are 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.

The F600 is available now through Glencore Technology. It can be purchased for $450,000 and hire options are also available, according to the company.