Tradition and future – for over 550 years
Montanwerke Brixlegg AG Upcycling Header Upcycling

We are known for our high-quality products.

They are the source material for different application areas.

Through the refining process, pure metals, salts, oxides, fungicides and abrasives are obtained from secondary materials containing copper such as scrap, alloys, residues and solutions.

The products created from this process are source materials for different application areas, such as in the electronics industry, construction industry, mechanical and system engineering, in the high-tech sector, in electroplating technology and in agriculture.

Our raw materials

The raw materials use in the production process are copper-containing dusts, ashes, drosses, shredded materials, sludges and runback slag with copper contents between 15 and 60%, other alloy scrap such as brass, bronze and red bronze with copper contents between 60 and 80%. Materials for refining such as scrap copper, wires, profiles (rods, metal sheets, rails etc.) as well as cut-up and sorted electrical cables contain around 80 – 99% copper. High-grade runback scraps from manufacturing semi-finished products are used directly in the foundry without refining. As well as these solid raw materials, copper chloride solutions from the electronics industry are also reprocessed.

In addition to copper, the raw materials above contain several other metals, such as nickel, zinc, tin and precious metals, for example. Following initial assessment and sampling, the supplies of the raw materials are used in the shaft furnace, converter, anode furnace or in the foundry’s smelting furnaces, depending on the type of refining required.

Inspecting the secondary materials we receive for problematic substances such as mercury, cadmium or lead is important here, as is checking for radioactivity. In the course of this assessment, which was devised by experts in the field, either the delivery is turned down or a green light is given for the materials to be processed.

How we extract copper and more!

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Following an initial inspection and sampling, depending on the type of refining required, the deliveries of raw materials are used in the shaft furnace, converter, anode furnace or in the foundry’s smelting furnaces.
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In the pyrometallurgical refining process, the metals are smelted and cleaned at temperatures of around 1,200°C. Materials with low copper contents (such as shredder copper or copper iron material) are smelted together with coke, quartz and calcium oxide in the shaft furnace.
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The molten metal from the shaft furnace, the black copper with a copper content of approx. 75%, is processed further in the converter together with alloy materials such as brasses, bronzes and red bronze. During this process, the metals lead, tin and zinc are separated as mixed oxides using oxygen.
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The molten metal produced from the converter has a copper content of up to 96% and is then purified further in the anode furnaces, where it mixes with other ingredients, such as sheet, pipe and wire scrap, as well as anode scrap resulting from the electrolysis. The finished molten metal from the anode furnaces contains approx. 99% copper and is cast into anode plates.
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The anode plates form the source product for hydrometallurgical refining, with copper being refined using electromechanical processes. The anode plates are hung in cells that are filled with a sulphuric-acid solution of copper sulphate – the electrolyte. Stainless-steel sheets serve as cathodes, on which the copper going into the solution separates from the anode under the influence of the electric current. This copper is mechanically removed and supplied for further use as cathode copper. It is characterised by its very high level of purity – the copper content is over 99.99%.
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In the foundry, extremely direct use scrap (production waste from processing plants) and copper cathodes are smelted in a gas-fired shaft furnace or in electric furnaces. In the vertical continuous casting process, strands with diameters from 150 to 500 mm and cakes with lengths of up to 8 m are cast intermittently. The qualities of the copper cast are adapted to the customer’s requirements by adding oxygen, phosphorous, silver or tin.

Our range of high-quality and versatile products:

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Our cathodes are made of extremely pure copper with a copper content of at least 99.99%. The main impurity is silver with 6 to 10 ppm.

Brixlegg cathodes are registered on the London Metal Exchange (LME) with the brand “BRX” as “Cathodes grade A”. They comply with the EN 1978 standard, the IWCC requirements and ASTM B115.

Dimensions: 1000 × 1000 mm; weight 55 – 65 kg.

Areas of application

Electrics and electronics
Chip carriers, contact carriers, cables, connectors, solder contacts, transformers, motors, generators etc.

Automotive technology
Contact, transmission and connection parts for motor control and diagnostics

Construction
Warm water and heating pipes, media transport, façade cladding, interior fittings etc.

Medical technology, machines and system construction
Sprockets, shift forks, gear parts such as toothed wheels and bevel gears, and much more.

High-tech
High vacuum technology, superconduction and particle accelerators

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Billets from the purest copper and alloys are cast in continuous casting plants in different dimensions, cut to the size the customer requires, and variants: oxygen-free, containing oxygen, silver low alloy, phosphorous low alloy or tin low alloy. The products comply with the EN 1976 and ASTM B170, B379, B187, B224 and B5 standards.

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Cakes from the purest copper are cast in continuous casting plants in different dimensions, cut to the size the customer requires, and variants: oxygen-free, containing oxygen, silver low alloy, phosphorous low alloy or tin low alloy. The products comply with the EN 1976 and ASTM B170, B379, B187, B224 and B5 standards.

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Gold with a purity of 99.99% is supplied in the form of granules.

The silver has a purity of at least 99.97% and is usually supplied in the form of granules.

Platinum/palladium is produced as a blended cement with approximately 5% platinum and 60% palladium.

Areas of application

Gold, like the other precious metals, is extracted from the anode slime from the refining electrolysis. Gold is used in the dental and jewellery industries, in minting and in electrical contacts.

Silver is used for the light-sensitive layers used in the photography industry, for alloying applications, in the jewellery and dental industries, in upscale merchandise and decorative goods and in minting.

Platinum is used in jewellery, catalysts, coins, temperature sensors and electrodes.

Palladium is used in catalysts.

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The slag from the shaft furnace is granulated, classified and sold as a fine-grained, sharp-edged product for use as a sandblasting material under the brand name of Granos.

Areas of application

Granos is used for removing coatings on metals, for derusting steel parts (e.g. in bridge, ship and automobile construction) and for insulating and drainage. The iron silicate stone is also used as Fayalite hard stone in concrete engineering.

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Dicopper chloride trihydroxide is produced in powder form and is used as a fungicide in plant protection products.

Areas of application

Used as a cost-effective and highly efficient fungicide to protect plants.

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Flowbrix is an aqueous dicopper chloride trihydroxide-based suspension concentrate developed by Montanwerke Brixlegg AG that is characterised by its particularly high fungicidal efficiency.

Areas of application

Used as a cost-effective and highly efficient fungicide to protect plants.

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Pure nickel sulphate is extracted from the de-coppered electrolyte from the refining electrolysis.
Chemical formula: NiSO4 * 6H2O; packaged in 25-kg bags.

Areas of application

Nickle sulphate is used for nickel plating in the electroplating industry.

Montanwerke Brixlegg AG Upcycling Umwelt

Upcycling copper – to help the environment

Our special recycling knowledge secures the future’s resource base

Metal collection and recycling ensure that scrap and other metal waste material do not need to be dumped. Montanwerke Brixlegg AG alone processes around 160,000 tonnes of copper-containing secondary materials annually, from which they produce around 120,000 tonnes of the purest copper. Metals – particularly copper and precious metals – are characterised by the fact that their specific material parameters remain the same, even after being recycled several times. In addition, scrap metals are permanent energy carriers. The energy for extracting the metals from ore only needs to be expended once and then remains in the metal cycle. Recycling copper saves around 85% of the energy when compared to extracting copper from ore. In particular, collecting and using scrap metals secures the future’s resource base for many different industrial sectors, reduces dependence on imports and contributes to conserving our natural resources. Based on this, Montanwerke Brixlegg AG’s recycling knowledge secures the future’s resource base.

Active environmental management as an implemented corporate value

Combined with the economic possibilities, our sense of social responsibility, our considered use of natural resources and further reduction of environmental pollution and workplace stress are all corporate values that we implement. Given the increasing societal awareness of the environmental effects of industrial activities, the Executive Board of Montanwerke Brixlegg AG is expressly aware of their responsibility to improve the company’s environmental and safety performance. To this end, corresponding organisational and technical measures have been established. Responsible persons have been appointed to address environmental issues, employee issues and health and safety issues. Through the continuous optimisation of all relevant processes and the selection of systems and equipment, we strive to conserve resources and ensure that we comply with the applicable environmental and safety requirements. Montanwerke Brixlegg AG also approaches future challenges in a professional manner, particularly when it comes to matters of sustainability. The environmental officer, who is directly overseen by the Executive Board, has a comprehensive remit in this area.

Montanwerke Brixlegg AG fulfils all REACH requirements. You can find further information on this under Downloads.

Your contact for environmental queries
Montanwerke Brixlegg AG Upcycling MB Graphic2
Ing. Christian Ehrenstrasser, MSc
Head of Department for Environmental Protection

+43 5337 6151 2170
christian.ehrenstrasser@montanwerke-brixlegg.com

Aims of environmental management:

  • Awareness of the tasks and requirements of the waste manager
  • Update of an environmental management system according to ISO 14001 and EFB
  • Formulation of a sustainable development program
  • Assurance of legal compliance in environmental and commercial law (representative according to Art. 9 of the Austrian Administrative Offences Act)
  • Improvement of environmental performance as well as ecological efficiency and energy efficiency
  • Determination and pursuit of KPIs, programs and initiatives concerning the environment
  • Promotion of company-wide innovative development in the area od environmental technology (processes, methods, products)
  • Active communication with external contacts
  • Provision of environmentally relevant training courses and guidance for all business areas on the topic of environmental protection