24 Nov 2021
The glorious copper of Balkhash
The date of November 24, 1938 inscribed in golden letters in the history of the city of Balkhash and the whole of Kazakhstan. On this day, the first rough copper was obtained. With this significant event, the great history of the Balkhash copper smelter began.
The history of Balkhash copper dates back to 1928, when huge ore reserves were discovered in the hills of Konyrat by the Leningrad geologist Mikhail Rusakov. With this discovery, the phased construction of a copper giant on the shore of Lake Balkhash began. A few years later, on the night of November 24, 1938, engineer Bakuradze's shift received the first Balkhash copper – 45 tons with a pure metal content of 96%. Over time, the Balkhash mining and metallurgical combine gained worldwide fame - in 1967, its copper was recognized as the standard of quality on the London Non-ferrous Metals Exchange. In addition, the company has implemented a full production cycle: from ore mining to the final product - copper cathode.
An interesting fact: during the entire existence of the Balkhash copper smelter, no one has calculated how much rough copper was produced in total. However, there is evidence that its volume could reach such a scale as to fit into the freight train Balkhash-Berlin-Balkhash, stretching in both directions. But, on the other hand, the plant keeps records of the work of the copper electrolysis shop from the moment of commissioning. So, from 1952 to the present day, the workshop has shipped 12 million 983 thousand 981 tons of cathode copper.
Key events in the history of the plant
There are several significant stages in the history of Balkhash metallurgy. In 1952, an electrolyte shop was put into operation at the Balkhash Copper smelter. With the commissioning of this workshop, local metallurgists began to master the production of cathode copper. In 1985, a melting unit (PU-1) was built. The years 1997-98 were marked by the construction and launch of a precious metal shop. In 1999 -2003, the construction and launch of a zinc plant took place. In 2004, a melting unit (PU-2) was built. In 2008, a workshop for the production of sulfuric acid from sulfurous anhydride was put into operation, and a year later a metallurgical complex was created, including the Balkhash and Zhezkazgan copper smelters.
In 2010, silver bullion produced by Balkhash metallurgists receives the international status of "Good Delivery", which is assigned to standard ingots of excellent quality, high-grade precious metal and the stamp of a reputable accredited manufacturer.
In 2012, Kazakhmys Smelting LLP started its activity on the basis of the Metallurgical Complex, as a separate business unit in the structure of Kazakhmys.
The division included the Balkhash Copper smelter, Zhezkazgan copper smelter, the Kazkat plant, a workshop for the production of copper and enamel pipes and an oxygen production enterprise.
Achievements are the merit of metallurgists
Today, the Balkhash Copper Smelting Plant of Kazakhmys Smelting LLP is a stable enterprise of the Karaganda region, where high-class specialists and top managers work, who contribute to the development of the economy every day.
The birthday of the plant for metallurgists is one of the main holidays of the year. By the way, in Balkhash there are representatives of this profession in almost every family, whole family dynasties live here, whose skills are passed down from generation to generation - from father to son, from grandfather to grandson. The whole city is proud of their names. Noting the overall success in improving production indicators, metallurgists do not forget about safe work in production. Only adherence to high standards of labor safety, discipline in the workplace will allow metallurgists to get satisfaction from the results of their work and ensure the qualitative development of all growth projects.
The Balkhash copper smelting plant of Kazakhmys Smelting LLP is a developing enterprise, and on the eve of the significant date - the release of the first rough copper of Balkhash, the entire working team of metallurgists analyzes their lives, plans prospects for the future, and makes confident steps forward. This movement will continue further. Time and years, people, the names of entire enterprises change, but one thing remains unchanged - the valiant work of metallurgists and the Balkhash Copper Smelter - the flagship of non-ferrous metallurgy of Kazakhstan.