Aker Kvaerner to provide Engineering Services for the Lisheen Paste Backfill plant in Ireland

The backfill plant will be able to treat 100% of the existing lead / zinc concentrator tailings and will produce a consistent cemented paste at around 76% solids that can be pumped underground. Placement of the paste in existing stopes will allow additional ore to be mined, improving the overall recovery from the mine and reducing the requirement for surface impoundment of tailings.

The project, with a contract value of GBP1 million to AK Engineering Services, comprises of a surface plant incorporating an 18-metre diameter Deep Cone Thickener and underflow pumping system, 400 tonne cement silos and colloidal mixing equipment, and a continuous spiral mixer. It also includes two hydraulically-driven, positive displacement piston pumps (each rated for 131 m3/hour and 80 bar continuous operation) and an underground distribution system to enable the cemented paste backfill to be pumped up to 3.5 km via a 200 mm pipeline to the underground stopes.

"This environmentally-friendly project continues the excellent working relationship between the Lisheen Mine and AK Engineering Services, which has been built up over a number of years," said Malcolm Oliver, President of AK Engineering Services.

Don Cunningham, General Manager, Lisheen said, "We are looking forward to working with AK Engineering Services and to contributing to and commissioning a fully operational plant safely and ahead of schedule."

The project starts immediately and is scheduled for completion in September 2004.

AK Engineering Services was responsible for the project management, basic and detailed design, procurement, construction, and commissioning of the 1,500,000 tonne per year lead/zinc processing facility and associated infrastructure. The USD 52 million lump-sum, turnkey project was completed in September 1999, after just 87.5 weeks.


For further information:
Vanessa Mourant, Aker Kvaerner, London, UK: Tel: +44 (0)20 7339 1064, Mobile: +44 (0)771 806566 or Email: vanessa.mourant@akerkvaerner.com

Sue Ledgerwood, Aker Kvaerner, Stockton-on-Tees, UK: +44 (0)1642 602221 or Email: susan.ledgerwood@akerkvaerner.com

1. Aker Kværner ASA is through its subsidiaries and affiliates ("Aker Kvaerner") a leading global provider of engineering and construction services, technology products and integrated solutions. The business within Aker Kvaerner spans a number of industries, including Oil & Gas production, Refining & Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology, Mining & Metals, Power, Pulping and Shipbuilding. Aker Kvaerner has aggregated annual revenues of approximately USD 6 billion and employs around 29,000 employees in more than 30 countries.
2. AK Engineering Services is the trading name of Kvaerner Engineering & Construction UK Ltd., and one of the core businesses of the Aker Kvaerner group in Europe. It provides total asset life cycle solutions including conceptual design, engineering, procurement, project management, construction and commissioning, through to operation and maintenance services, modifications and process improvements. Also offered are consultancy services in reliability, business modelling and environmental, health, safety and risk management.
3. Anglo American Plc is a global leader in the mining and natural resource sectors. It has significant and focused interests in gold, platinum, diamonds, coal, base metals, ferrous metals and industries, industrial minerals and paper and packaging, as well as financial and technological strength. The Group is geographically diverse, with operations and developments in Africa, Europe, South and North America and Australia.
The Lisheen zinc and lead deposit was discovered in 1990. In 1994, a 50% interest in the project was acquired by Minorco (which later merged with Anglo American Plc.). Lisheen is among the larger zinc mines in the world. Construction of the underground mine commenced in1997, with the first ore brought to surface in September 1999 and the first shipment of zinc concentrates was made from the Port of Cork in December 1999. The mine is now operating at its design capacity and is managed by Anglo American (now holds 100% interest).
4. Zinc is produced and consumed in five major forms: metals, chloride, dust, oxide and sulphate, with metal being by far the largest tonnage and used predominantly in galvanising and alloys. Galvanising accounts for more than 55% of total refined demand. Zinc based alloys are used in die-casting, ranging from automotive components to toys and models. Other uses of metallic zinc include roofing products and dry cell batteries. Chemical and other applications account for the remainder of refined demand where it is used in a diverse range of products and uses such as tyres, paints, pharmaceuticals and chemical processing.
is primarily used in the production of batteries with growth increasing in non-automotive battery applications.