German copper producer and recycler Aurubis officially inaugurated a plant for extracting precious metals from anode sludge at its Hamburg site on 16 August. German environment minister Peter Altmaier was among the attendees. The investment volume for the facility, which Aurubis describes as the largest of its kind in the world, was more than €50m.
The new plant has a treatment capacity of almost 8,000 tonnes a year and may raise the annual gold production at Aurubis’ Hamburg site from 35 tonnes at present to 50 tonnes. “This innovative and very environmentally friendly plant enables us for the first time to centrally process the precious metal-bearing anode sludge from the group’s electrolysis plants in Belgium, Bulgaria and Germany at a single site”, commented group head Peter Willbrandt.