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ArticleName Operation of autogenous smelters at Nornickel’s Polar Division when processing raw materials with low energy potential
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2022.02.05
ArticleAuthor Krupnov L. V., Tsymbulov L. B., Malakhov P. V., Ozerov S. S.

MMC Norilsk Nickel’s Polar Division, Norilsk, Russia:

L. V. Krupnov, Deputy Head of the Science and Technology Directorate – Chief Metallurgist, Candidate of Technical Sciences, e-mail:
P. V. Malakhov, Principal Specialist in Pyrometallurgical Technology, e-mail:

Gipronikel Institute LLC, Saint Petersburg, Russia:

L. B. Tsymbulov, Director of the Research & Development Department, Associate Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, e-mail:

S. S. Ozerov, Lead Researc her at the Pyrometallurgy Laboratory, e-mail:


Because high-grade deposits of sulphide ores are gradually being depleted, the processing industry has to deal with poorer quality ores. To maintain the concentration efficiency, ores have to be ground more thoroughly. At the same time, the quality of the resulting concentrates is affected by the need to maintain certain recovery by concentrator plants. Consequently, low-quality raw materials are fed in the smelters, both in terms of chemical and phase composition and the size distribution. Therefore, the problem of processing such materials is gaining relevance, entailing the need to optimize both the production processes and the equipment involved. This paper examines the chemical, phase and material compositions of the products present in the charge fed in the furnaces of Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant and Copper Plant operated by Nornickel’s Polar Division. It also looks at the final products, performs a retrospective analysis of their composition and considers their use. The paper reviews a large array of statistical data (from 2007 till now) to understand how the composition of the concentrates and the charge tended to change and how it influenced the autogenic performance of the process. The conducted study and the performance analysis of the both furnaces handling such materials indicate that autogenous smelters of various types can be adjusted to the changing feed material. This could also help designers make informed decisions regarding the choice of furnaces for new smelters.

keywords Autogenous smelters, Vanyukov furnace, flash smelter, finely dispersed raw materials, scull formation, dust entrainment, thickened nickel sulphide concentrate

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