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

We’re known for high-quality products

that serve as source materials for a wide range of applications

Our refining processes obtain pure metals, salts, oxides, fungicides, and abrasives from secondary materials containing copper, such as scrap, alloys, residues, and solutions.

The products created using this process serve as source materials for a range of applications in the electronics industry, the construction industry, mechanical and system engineering, the high-tech sector, electroplating technology, agriculture, and more.

Our raw materials

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

The raw materials listed above contain copper as well as several other metals, such as nickel, zinc, tin, and precious metals. Following initial assessment and sampling, we use the raw materials in the shaft furnace, converter, anode furnace, or smelting furnaces, depending on the type of refining required.

It is important for us to inspect the secondary materials we receive for problematic substances such as mercury, cadmium, or lead, as well as to check for radioactivity. Following these assessments, which were devised by experts, we either reject the secondary materials or approve them for processing.

How we extract copper and more!

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Following initial inspection and sampling and depending on the type of refining required, we use the raw materials that we have received in the shaft furnace, converter, anode furnace, or smelting furnaces.
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During the pyrometallurgical refining process, we smelt the metals and clean them 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 – black copper with a copper content of approximately 75% – is further processed in the converter together with alloy materials such as brasses, bronzes, and red bronze. During this process, lead, tin, and zinc are separated as mixed oxides using oxygen.
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The molten metal produced by the converter has a copper content of up to 96%. It is further purified in the anode furnaces, where it is mixed with other ingredients such as sheet, pipe, and wire scrap, as well as anode scrap resulting from electrolysis. The finished molten metal from the anode furnaces has a copper content of approximately 99% and is cast into anode plates.
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Anode plates serve as the source product for hydrometallurgical refining, during which copper is refined using electromechanical processes. The anode plates are hung in cells filled with a sulfuric acid solution of copper sulfate (the electrolyte). Stainless steel sheets serve as cathodes on which the copper placed in the solution separates from the anode, under the influence of the electric current. This copper is mechanically removed for later use as cathode copper. This material is highly pure – it has a copper content of 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. During the vertical continuous casting process, strands with diameters ranging 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 with the addition of oxygen, phosphorous, silver, or tin.

Our range of high-quality, versatile products

Montanwerke Brixlegg AG Upcycling 01 Kupferkathoden

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

Brixlegg cathodes are registered on the London Metal Exchange (LME) under the “BRX” brand 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 made from the purest copper and alloys are cast in continuous casting plants in various dimensions, cut to the size the customer requires, and produced in a number of variants: oxygen-free, oxygen-containing, silver low alloy, phosphorous low alloy, or tin low alloy. These products comply with the EN 1976 and ASTM B170, B379, B187, B224, and B5 standards.

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Cakes made from the purest copper are cast in continuous casting plants in various dimensions, cut to the size the customer requires, and produced in a number of variants: oxygen-free, oxygen-containing, silver low alloy, phosphorous low alloy, or tin low alloy. These 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 we produce 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 and contains approximately 5% platinum and 60% palladium.

Areas of application

Gold, like the other precious metals we process, is extracted from the anode slime produced during refining electrolysis. This gold is used in the dental and jewelry industries, in minting, and in electrical contacts.

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

Platinum is used in jewelry, 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 insulation and drainage. 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 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 and characterized by its particularly high fungicidal efficiency.

Areas of application

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

Montanwerke Brixlegg AG Upcycling 08 Nickelsulfat

Pure nickel sulfate is extracted from de-coppered electrolyte during refining electrolysis.

Chemical formula: NiSO4 * 6H2O; packaged in 25-kg bags.

Areas of application

Nickel sulfate is used for nickel plating in the electroplating industry.

Montanwerke Brixlegg AG Upcycling Umwelt

We Upcycle Copper to Help Protect the Environment

Active environmental management as a lived corporate principle

Montanwerke Brixlegg AG is obligated to methodically, continuously improve its environmental performance and makes sure to uphold environmental regulations in everything it does – these principles are firmly anchored in the corporate policy. The company drives improvement through measures such as helping to expand and maintain a circular economy, deploying environmentally friendly technologies, and boosting energy and resource efficiency. Process-related emissions are monitored on an ongoing basis and minimized through the use of cutting-edge technologies. A certified environmental management system in line with ISO 14001 and a waste management facility in line with German law represent the core elements underlying the methodic, continuous improvement of environmental performance within the company, thereby laying the groundwork for sustainable development and maintaining favorable environmental conditions.

Our specialist recycling expertise reinforces the circular economy and saves energy

The core competencies of Montanwerke Brixlegg AG are recycling copper-containing secondary raw materials and recovering this raw material. This saves a great deal of energy: Recycling consumes up to 85% less energy than primary production requires! Since recycling copper covers the need for this material, Montanwerke Brixlegg AG makes a significant contribution to Europe’s circular economy as well as to the conservation of resources. Projects to boost energy efficiency are highly prioritized and aim to save primary energy sources while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.

Safety takes top priority

In line with Seveso Directive III, Montanwerke Brixlegg AG is classified as an “upper-tier establishment.” The company’s safety management system, comprehensive safety assessments and emergency planning, in-depth communication and exchange of knowledge with emergency services, and regular training and safety inspections minimize the risk of industrial accidents. Our brochure helps to promote safety by providing valuable information about the necessary measures and precautions.
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

Tasks and objectives of operational environmental management:

  • Upholding statutory environmental regulations
  • Monitoring emissions
  • Continuously improving environmental performance
  • Actively engaging in internal and external communication
  • Training employees and raising awareness
  • Operational waste management
  • Emergency planning, including emergency preparedness and response