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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1977
Year 1977, Volume 1 (1977)

Schroeder, Harold J.; Jolly, James H.
Copper,   pp. 329-370 PDF (4.8 MB)


Page 334

334 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1977 
sions proceeded on schedule. In addition to the strike-caused loss of production
at ASARCO's three copper smelters, there was also curtaihnents in production
during adverse weather conditions to remain in compliance with environmental
control requirements. 
 Kennecott commenced the phaseout of the old Utah copper smelter and the
new smelter modification project began to come on line in September. The
transition was being made with insignificant loss of production. The changeover
was to be completed by mid-1978. The McGill, Nev., smelter reopened in January,
following a 5month closure in the previous year, and continued full scale
operation throughout the year. 
 The Phelps Dodge Hidalgo smölter oper ated for the first full year
and produced 82,500 tons of copper anodes, mainly from the Tyrone, N. Mex.,
concentrator, compared with 37,90(1 tons in 1976, when it operated for only
half of the year. Installation of a second acid plant and other facilities
was completed in November on schedule. 
 San Manuel smelter operations of Magma Copper Co., were adversely affected
during the fourth quarter of 1976 and the first quarter of 1977 by an unusually
high number of intermittent curtailments required for air pollution control
during atmospheric inversions. The problems were corrected by the end of
the first quarter of 1977, and production returned to normal by the end of
April. Periodic curtailments of smelter pro 
duction during the year to stay within sulfur dioxide emission limits during
unfavorable atmospheric conditions resulted in some loss of production. In
mid-year, Magma undertook conversion of its reverbertory furnaces to burn
coal as a primary fuel. The conversion was expected to be completed in 1979.
 Refined Production.—In 1977 production of refrned copper from
primary
materials decreased 3% to 1.50 million tons. Refined copper produced from
scrap was 385,418 tons compared with 375,155 tons in 1976. Total production
of refined copper in the United States was 1.88 million tons, 80% derived
from primary and 20% from scrap sources. 
 The Anaconda Company closed the Arbiter plant, a hydrometallurgical refinery
at Anaconda, Mont., for an indeterminate period. The feed that had been designated
for treatment at the Arbiter plant was processed at the company's nearby
conventional smelter, 
 Duval. Corp., continued testing of its new CLEAR process (an acronym for
copper, leach, electrolysis, and regeneration) plant for the electrolytic
production of copper crystals. The patented CLEAR process creates no solid,
liquid, or gaseous pollution. The plant, designed to produce 44,000 short
tons of copper crystals annually, was running at about 85% of design capacity.
 Copper Sulfate.—Copper sulfate was produced from electrolytic
tankhouse
solutions, blister copper, and secondary metal by companies with plants located
as follows: 
Company 
 Plant location 
TheAnacondaCompany GreatFalls,Mont. 
ChevronChemicalCo Ricbmond,Calif. 
CitiesServiceCo Copperhill,Tenn. 
PhelpsDodgeRefiningCorp LaurelHill,N.Y., 
  El Paso, Tex. 
Vanwaters&Rogerslnc Wallace,Idaho. 
 Copper sulfate production decreased for the fourth consecutive year to 30,100
tons, the smallest quantity since 1934. Shipments including consumption by
producing companies increased 2% over those of 1976 and exceeded production
by 857 tons, drawing down stocks from the relatively high level of 8,557
tons at yearend 1976 to 7,700 tons at yearend 1977~ Of the total shipments
of 30,957 tons, reports indicated that 16,487 tons was for agricultural uses,
12,799 tons was for industrial uses, and 1,671 tons was for other uses. 
 Byproduct Sulfuric Acid.—Sulfuric acid 
was produced at 14 copper smelters from the sulfur contained in offgases,
and output increased for the 10th consecutive year from 2,281,600 tons to
a record 2,357,400 tons on a 100% acid basis. 
SECONDARY COPPER AND BRASS 
 Domestic recovery of copper in all forms 
from all classes of purchased scrap totaled 
1.20 million tons in 1977, a 4% increase over 
the 1976 total. Recovery from copper-base 
scrap advanced from 1.11 million tons to 
1.16 million tons. Brass mills accounted for 


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