On a business trip to People’s Republic of China

18 December 2017


Dates of business trip: 10.12.17-17.12.17

Representative group:

Tleulin A.S. – Deputy Director for Production

Aidarkhanov A.E., Chief Technologist

Tleuzhanov M.M., chief manager of foreign economic relations and commerce;

Nurlanov A. T., Head of Primary Melting Workshop;

Chumakov D., Engineer of Technical Control Department

The aim of business trip: Visiting refineries in People’s Republic of China (PRC), familiarization with affinity processes, sharing experiences, further cooperation, and visiting the East China University of Science and Technology.

A visit to the state refinery “DAYE Nonferrous” in Huangshi, China:

December 11, 2017, deligation from Tau Ken Altyn visited the state refinery “DAYE Nonferrous”. At the meeting with the Chinese side, there were: Managing Director – Mr. Li, Deputy Director for Production – Mr. Uam, Chief Production Engineer, Chief Engineer and Head of Equipment Purchase Department.

The DAYE Nonferrous Refinery is located in the industrial zone of Huangshi, PRC.

The launch of the refinery, which is a member of the copper production, took place in 1986.

In 2006, after the modernization and reorganization of the company, the refinery was separated into an independent structure.

Since 2006, the company has started the production of platinum-palladium metal group

Since 2014, «DAYE Nonferrous» has started producing metals such as Te, SeO2, Re, Ir, Yb.

The number of employees is 320 people including 200 production members. The majority of employees are hired among the local population. 

As a raw material, a copper-electrolyte waste slurry is used in the amount of 4 thousand tons per year. Consequently, the content of Au equals to 0.2%; Ag – up to 10,0% and alloy Dore with the content of Au – not less than 90,0%. The supply of those raw materials come from private companies of the PRC.

The DAYE Nonferrous refinery has quality certificates from the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the London Metal Exchange

The production capacity of the refinery is 20 tons of pure gold and 1 000 tons of pure silver per year.

According to statistics, in 2017 the refinery has produced around 14 tons of pure gold and 850 tons of pure silver.

Managing Director of “DAYE Nonferrous” Mr. Lee (on the Left)

and Deputy Director for Production “Tau-Ken Altyn” LLC

Askar Tleulin (on the Right)

After the conduction of a congenial meeting, our group went to visit production workshops.

The refinery is divided into two divisions:

  • The first is the receiving and preparation of raw materials as a sludge.
  • The second is refining of the precious metals

Basically, medelectrolyte sludge packed in big-bags is delivered to the factory. Then, sludge passes through the burning stage in horizontal kilns at a temperature of 6000С. The number of a furnace is 6 units with the capacity up to 4,0 t/h. In these furnaces, drying and calcining of the sludge occurs at which sublimation of the volatile elements (Se, S, As, etc.) takes place. Further, the material is supplied to the chlorination of silver and impurities. The chlorination process is carried out in agitators made of titanium in the amount of 10 units, with a volume of 20, 30, 50 m3.  The chlorination process is periodic, a gold-containing product is loaded into the agitator, sulfuric acid is added to dissolve impurities and purge with chlorine gas. An obtained product is relocated to the next stage in order to make anodes for electrochemical refining. 

Melting of chloride silver is performed with the addition of calcined soda in a converter-type furnace. This furnace is silver oriented with a capacity of up to 500 kg. The loading process of material is done through the gas outlet. After, gases are cleaned using a group of cyclones. At the end of the process, a filling is done in cassette molds with 10 anodes.

Obtained after the electrochemical refining of silver is melted and poured into silver bullion. Melting is performed with induction furnaces in crucibles with a capacity of 120 kg. The upper level of the furnace is at the level of 0.000. The crucible is lowered and raised using a hydraulic lift located underneath the furnace. A special grip is the grip of the crucible and further spilling the metal into bullions. Bullions weigh from 1 to 15 kg. for the Shanghai Stock Exchange and 30.0 kg. for LBMA.

The finished products produced from gold in the form of forged bullion weight of 1000 grams with subsequent application of characteristics of bullion on it by punched-needling machine.

The Doray alloy is purchased at the quotations of the Shanghai Gold Exchange, which is often below the quotations of LBMA. The finished products are sold at quotations: with proportions as the Shanghai Gold Exchange – 80.0%, LBMA – 20.0%.

The main customers of precious metals are state structures.

During the meeting, there was a roundtable with senior managers of the refinery. The aim was to exchange opinions, and discuss several problematic issues of the refinery and so on.

First problem that both side discussed is toughening of environmental requirements by state bodies. At the beginning of the construction of the plant, environmental standards were not so rigid. Due to, the existing technology and aspiration system still does not meet the requirements.

Second of them is an increased number of employees of the refinery. The company that implemented the plant’s project did not take into account the pace of modernization, which at the moment leads to an overabundance of labor resources for production needs. So, it is planned to reduce the number of employees from 320 to 200 people.

However, except negative points, there were some positive moments that participants have discussed. One of the positive points was the greening of the refinery. In the case of the DAYE Nonferrous which has large occupied area and the availability of free sites, the refinery carries out a purposeful planting of trees for their further sale.

 

Visiting «Jingui Silver Industry Co Ltd» refinery at Chenzhou, China:

December 12, 2017, a meeting with the management of the refinery “Jingui Silver Industry Co Ltd” was held. In the meeting, the Chinese side represented the vice-president of the company Mr. Wang Pingsy, the chief technologist (professor) Mr. Young, the production director.

The delegation of Tau-Ken Altyn LLP and the management of the refinery Jingui Silver Industry Co Ltd

The company “Jingui Silver Industry Co Ltd” was founded in 2004 and is one of the largest private producers of refined silver and its products. The company also produces copper, lead in pigs, zinc, etc.

The company has a full production cycle from the mining of raw materials to the production of final products

The production of cathode copper is carried out in the electrolysis shop.

It also should be noted that the technical solution for the electrolysis of copper is very innovative. As can be seen from Photo 4, the electrolysis plant is vertically disposed of a closed cylinder of stainless steel, into which circulating copper-containing solutions are continuously supplied. Inside the bath is a titanium new sheet, which acts as a cathode. This solution enabled the refinery to exclude the release of acid fumes into the atmosphere and improve the production culture.

The capacity of this workshop is up to five thousand tons per year.

Electrolysis equipment

The delegation of Tau-Ken Altyn LLP exploring the copper production

 

Production of lead

The furnace for the production of lead is made according to the type of Vanyukov furnace. In the furnace, through the tuyeres, blowing (air) is supplied, and the melting of the charge occurs due to the flow of exothermic reactions. A filling is made in cast-iron molds installed on a carousel-filling machine. A release of the slag is carried out through the hole in the hole in the cast iron chute, which is also fed with water to produce granulated slag (Photo 7). The production capacity of the furnace of lead is 80,000 tons per year. The author of this technology is the chief technologist (professor) of the company Mr. Young.

During the visit, working group of Tau Ken Altyn have seen the areas of melting and electrolysis of silver, a warehouse of finished products, a manufacturing site for products.

The production of refined silver is up to 2,000 tons/year of which about 30 tons are sent for the manufacture of products.

In the silver melting section, there are 2 induction furnaces with a capacity of 150 kg. Filling in anode molds is made directly from the furnace. Casting mold for casting 10 pieces of anodes. 2 workers are employed at this workshop, and during their replacement, they produce up to two tons of silver in the form of

anodes, each weighing 20 kg. The anodes are then drilled and sent to electrolysis.

Release of slag from lead furnace

 The electrolysis section consists of 10 series, 70 anodes are installed in each of the series. Electrolysis baths differ from those used by us in terms of discharge of cathode silver. A conveyor belt of a chemical resistant material passes through the bottom of the bath. As the cathodic silver is deposited, the transporter is launched and cathode silver is discharged into the receiving hoppers.

Further, a cathode of silver is dried and sent to receive ingots.

The stages of granulation before the receipt of commercial silver bars are absent. The cathode silver is loaded directly into the ingot mold and fed to the flameless tunnel furnace produced by IKOI. Nowadays in the refinery is installed just one tunnel but it is planned to install and start two more tunnel furance soon.

Baths of silver electrolysis

Flameless tunnel furnace for the production of silver bars “IKOI”

Finished silver products

A silver tank weighing 2 tons

The production of products begins with his artistic sketch, which is dealt with by the employees of the enterprise.

Manufacture of primary products

 Next, the sketch is scanned and a rubber model is made on a 3D printer.

 

3D-printer and models made on it

Based on these models, moldings are produced and products are cast, with further grinding and polishing.

Final polishing of products

Finished goods

The product range is quite extensive from statues and paintings of various sizes and weights to cutlery. The company has several objects (jewelry stores) selling silver products.

Also, the company is investing some investments to attract tourists to Chenzhou, Nowadays, they are working on the construction of the “Silver History Museum” trading house, in which an interactive video presents the history of obtaining precious metals in China, sculptural compositions showing the life and work of the ancient miners and metallurgists, various products made of pure silver are exhibited. The idea of building a museum belongs to the owner of the company.

Exposition of the Museum of Silver     

 Visit to the East China University of Science and Technology:

On December 14, 2017, members of Tau Ken Alty have visited the East China University of Science and Technology. At the meeting with the university side, the Vice-Rector of the University, Mr. Siamin Kao, the dean of the School of International Education, Ms. Hua Bao participated.

The East China University of Science and Technology was founded in 1952 as a university of chemical engineering. In 1993 it was reorganized and renamed.

The East China University of Science and Technology has16 academic schools specializing in science, technology, pharmacology, philosophy, administration, economics, law, literature, history, and education.

More than 1,300 foreign students from more than 100 countries study at the university, including 40 students from Kazakhstan (previously studied up to 200 students from Kazakhstan).

During the negotiation, Ms. Bao mentioned about the training program for foreign students financed by the PRC government.

This given program is designed for 20 people, and Ms. Bao highlighted that LLP “Tau-Ken Altyn” can apply for this program as well. At the same time, she mentioned the number of applicants that the university is willing to accept. It can be around 5 students. Additionally, the university is ready to prepare a specific program for our employees.

Also, these programs can vary by the time (15, 30, 60 days).

The language of the special is in English.

The beginning of the program is June 2018.

 

Meeting of the delegation of LLP “Tau-Ken Altyn” with board management the of the university

During the meeting both sides have negotiated and reached agreements on the development of the training program for employees of Tau-Ken Altyn LLP, also the university side will arrange a visa support, full funding for education and accommodation.