After more than six years of construction, on June 26, 2021, Vinacomin - Minerals Holding Corporation (VIMICO) took the first anode copper plate in Lao Cai Copper Smelter after the test run of the expansion project was completed.
The project for expansion and upscale of Lao Cai Copper Smelter (also known as Ban Qua Copper Smelter) cost a total investment fund of more than VND3,900 billion. The project construction started in early April 2015 in Ban Qua commune, Bat Xat district, Lao Cai province. This is not only a key project of Lao Cai province and Vietnam National Coal, Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited (Vinacomin), but also plays an important strategic role in realizing Party and Government policy on natural resources production and mineral downstream processing.
When it is put into operation, the project will help increase the mineral value chain, effectively and thoroughly exploit the existing copper ore source. In particular, increasing the output of broken copper extracted in Lao Cai from 10,000 tons to 30,000 tons year helps reduce current copper shortage offset by imports, save foreign currencies and boost industrial production.
According to the plan, the Lao Cai Copper Smelter in Ban Qua was expected to officially start production in the third quarter of 2020 but it was delayed due to emerging difficulties such as volatile prices of materials and revised design. Especially, the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in early 2020, and the resurgence in early 2021, slowed down the project progress.
Seeing these difficulties and challenges, the Provincial Party Committee, the Provincial People's Committee, authorities at all levels of Lao Cai province and Vinacomin closely and decisively directed in project implementation. In particular, the effective coordination to implement the dual goal of “preventing and controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring business operations” facilitated VIMICO to take a firm step to overcome all difficulties and challenges to deploy construction bidding packages as planned.
Difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic were promptly resolved by authorities of Lao Cai province in coordination with VIMICO. Therefore, the progress of construction and installation bidding packages was ensured in accordance with technical requirements.
With the endeavor and determination of managers, engineers and workers, by July 2021, the expansion project completed over 97% of the workload. Hardships gave way to joy and excitement when VIMICO and Lao Cai Copper Smelter in Ban Qua saw the first anode copper plate at 3:30 p.m. on June 26, 2021 after the successful test run of the smelter.
With this success, the speed of construction and installation has been accelerated. VIMICO expected to launch smelter inauguration in the third quarter of 2021. When the facility is officially put into operation, it will supply over 20,000 tons of 99.995% metal copper, 100,000 tons of sulfuric acid, 1,000 kg of gold and 1,000 kg of silver for the market with each year. It is expected to contribute over VND5,000 billion to Lao Cai province’s industrial production value each year.
In the ceremony to welcome the first copper plate, Mr. Nguyen Tien Manh, Deputy General Director of Vinacomin, recognized and warmly praised all employees of VIMICO, the Management Board of Lao Cai Copper Smelter Upgrade Project and contractors for their efforts to surmount difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to make the first copper plate. This is an important milestone of the project, a foundation for Lao Cai Copper Smelter to steadily move forward in the coming period.
Sharing the joy with all employees of Lao Cai Copper Smelter in Ban Qua after the successful test run of the smelter, Mr. Trinh Van Tue, General Director of VIMICO, said that the expansion project is of special significance not only to Vinacomin and VIMICO but also for Lao Cai province. The project concretized one of 24 main goals that the 16th Provincial Party Congress set out on the strategy for downstream mineral processing and was selected by the Provincial People's Committee as one of the projects to celebrate the 30th reestablishment anniversary of the province (October 1, 1991 - October 1, 2021).
Source: Vietnam Business Forum