Refining

Lead bullion produced by the smelting process is transferred into a processing kettle. Each kettle is capable of holding 75 tonnes of molten lead and is heated via high efficiency natural gas burners. Emissions are controlled by dedicated extraction on each processing kettle.

Pyrometallurgical refining is undertaken with the lead in molten form. The chemical concept behind the refining process is the addition of reagents at controlled temperatures to remove impurities in the form of dross. Lead is produced in accordance with the British Standard Specification EN 12588 or Saturn Blei (German standard). This is sold to our sister company; Jamestown Industries Limited for onward processing. Another sister company; Jamestown Metals Limited, requires a different alloy for use with direct method casting.

The dross produced is smelted to produce antimonial, tin and copper alloys which are sold to external organisations.

Scrap lead processing

The refining department has also been designed to process lead scrap. The initial phase of the site was solely processing lead scrap. Later phases introduced the smelter and battery breaker processes.  Lead scrap is held in a dedicated storage bay and is melted in a 75 tonne kettle, designed to handle this raw material.  The molten lead is then pumped into the refining kettles where they are pyrometallurgically processed until specific metallurgical requirements are achieved for the end user.

Casting

Once the lead has been refined to the appropriate customer requirements, the metal can be cast into various shapes and sizes, the most common being slabs of 8.4 tonnes and blocks of 1.6 and 1.7 tonnes.