First Quantum Minerals to Expand Kansanshi Mine With MECS® Technology

25 September 2023

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (First Quantum), a prominent global copper company, has inked a contract with MECS, Inc. (MECS), a subsidiary of Elessent Clean Technologies (Elessent), for a significant expansion project at the Kansanshi Mine located in Solwezi, Zambia. The scope of work undertaken by MECS involves a comprehensive overhaul of the existing sulfur-burning sulfuric acid plant, transforming it into a copper smelter off-gas recovery sulfuric acid plant. This transition to a copper smelter off-gas recovery acid plant holds the promise of several key benefits for First Quantum, including emissions reduction from the existing copper smelter, heightened production at the mine, and a bolstered supply of copper to the global market, supporting the adoption of greener technologies.

Brian Blair, MECS® Global Licensing Manager at Elessent, emphasized the environmental significance of this expansion project, stating, "The expansion of the Kansanshi Mine and transition to a smelter off-gas recovery sulfuric acid plant is an integral step to the extended life of the mining operation. It was important for Kansanshi and First Quantum to embark on this expansion by using environmentally sound practices, and MECS is honored to play a part in this project. The MECS® technology, products, and equipment used in the plant’s design are world-class and will ensure their commitment to sustainability and social responsibility are met."

The MECS® sulfuric acid design for First Quantum incorporates cutting-edge products and technologies, including MECS® catalyst for low emissions and high conversion, Brink® mist eliminators for superior mist elimination, and ZeCor® alloy towers, ZeCor® pump tank, and UniFlo® acid distributor technology for operational reliability and efficiency. Beyond enhancing production capacity to better serve clients, this sulfuric acid plant conversion contributes to a more competitive and environmentally friendly global supply chain of copper and gold.

Eli Ben-Shoshan, CEO of Elessent, expressed enthusiasm about the positive environmental impact of the project, stating, "Supporting the Kansanshi Smelter Expansion with First Quantum and the Kansanshi Mine has been an exciting opportunity. Not only is MECS helping to extend the life of the mine and optimize operations, but we are also in a unique position to help make a tremendously positive impact on the environment by helping reduce emissions."

The startup of the Kansanshi Smelter Expansion at the mine site in Solwezi, Zambia is scheduled for 2025.

MECS® sulfuric acid technology has been a mainstay in industries such as phosphate fertilizer, non-ferrous metals (leaching & smelting), oil refining, and general chemicals for nearly a century. These technologies, including MECS® heat recovery systems (HRS™), MECS® SolvR® regenerative SO2 scrubbing, and MECS® MAX3™ sulfuric acid production technology, have transformed the performance, quality, and cost-effectiveness of customer operations. The MECS® technology is bolstered by specialty products like catalysts, Brink® mist eliminators, DynaWave® scrubbers, ZeCor® corrosion-resistant alloy products, and acid coolers, all meticulously designed for demanding operating environments. Marketed by Elessent Clean Technologies, MECS® technology stands as the world's leading sulfuric acid production technology, boasting over 1,000 sulfuric acid plant licenses and projects. Elessent Clean Technologies is committed to ensuring long-term customer satisfaction and providing support throughout the lifespan of customer assets. For more information, visit