Global Atomic holds a 49% stake in Befesa Silvermet Turkey, SL (BST), with Befesa S.A, a metallurgical company with operations in aluminium slag recycling and steel dust recycling, holding the remaining 51%. Befesa SA is the operator of BST and is listed on the Frankfurt exchange (FRA: BFSA).
BST has capacity to process 110Ktpa of Electric Arc Furnace Dust (EAFD), which can produce 50-60 Mlbpa of payable zinc concentrate via the Waelz process. The Waelz process is a method to recover zinc from metallurgical waste, using a long, slightly inclined and refractory-lined rotary kiln.
The kiln is fed with pellets containing a mixture of EAF dust (c.25% average zinc), carbon (coke and athracite) and lime at a temperature of c.1200°C. As the feed material slowly moves down the kiln, volatile elements, mainly zinc, are transformed to gas and elements are oxidised to form a so-called Waelz oxide (WOX). WOX is captured and cooled and further processed with soda-ash to produce double-washed WOX, which is sold as a zinc concentrate (with a 65-70% zinc concentration) to smelters.