The high intensity of the smelting process results in high productivity from a relatively small diameter furnace. Using a single ISASMELT™ furnace, 3.75 metres in diameter, Glencore's copper smelter in Mount Isa treats over 1 000 000 tonnes of copper concentrate per annum. In India, Sterlite copper's original ISASMELT™ furnace with a diameter of less than 3 metres was producing more than 180,000 tpa of copper in matte before it was superseded by a larger furnace that was commissioned in 2005.
High Specific Smelting Rate
The bath is very turbulent because the lance tip is submerged, so any feed material reaching the bath surface is immediately drawn under the surface and reacts very quickly. This means for any given furnace size, a comparatively large amount of raw material can be processed.