​Following the success of the first Albion Process™ plant at San Juan de Neiva, Glencore then constructed a second Albion Process™ plant at the Nordenham zinc refinery. This plant was commissioned in March 2011. The feed to the plant is also finely ground lead/zinc concentrate from the McArthur River mine, and the process flowsheet is similar to that employed at San Juan de Neiva.

The Nordenham Albion Process™ plant has a throughput of 36,000 tpa of concentrate, and the plant produces 16,000 tpa of cathode zinc from the concentrate, at a recovery of 98.8% w/w.

The oxidative leach consists of an 800 m3 and a 280 m3 reactor in series. The 280 m3 reactor is similar in geometry to the San Juan de Neiva leach reactor, and the 800 m3 has a live height of 11.5 m and an aspect ratio of 1.5. Oxygen is injected into the base of the both reactors using HyperSparge™ supersonic oxygen injection lances, and the slurry is again agitated by a centrally mounted dual hydrofoil impeller.

The lead residue from the Nordenham Albion Process™ plant is also sold locally to secondary lead producers.

A summary of the key operating data for the two Xstrata Zinc Albion Process™ plants is presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Summary Data for the Albion Process™ Plants

Parameter San Juan de Neiva Nordenham
Feed Rate – tph
MRM Concentrate 1 4
Neutral Leach Residue 0.25 1
Concentrate Composition
Zinc - % 47.20% 47.20%
Lead - % 8.17% 8.17%
Iron - % 5.40% 5.40%
SiO2 - % 4.30% 4.30%
Copper - % 0.80% 0.80%
Sulphur - % 47.20% 47.20%
Albion Leach Reactor Size – m3 280 800, 280
Zinc Recovery in Leach - % w/w 98.6 98.8
Conversion to elemental sulphur <5 <5
Leach acid demand – kg/tonne 488 470
Leach oxygen demand – kg/tonne 209 214
Residue Composition
Sulphur - % 43 42
Zinc - % 1.3 0.8
Lead - % 15.5 16.2
Iron - % 8.4 8.1
SiO2 - % 7.5 7.1
Copper - % 0.2 0.2