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Biz ‘Bite:’ Itafos Conda returns to full production

Itafos Conda returns to full production

The Itafos Conda plant.

The Itafos Conda plant. Photo courtesy of Itafos.

Phosphate miner Itafos announced the return to full production on Nov. 18 for its phosphate plant in Conda, just north of Soda Springs. The plant was negatively impacted by a disruption in its sulfuric acid supply from the Kennecott smelter in Magna, Utah, which is owned by the multinational Rio Tinto mining firm.

The smelter was shut down on Sept. 21 when a release of molten materials started a fire. Rio Tinto declared force majeure after the fire on shipments of copper cathode and sulfuric acid. The Itafos Conda plant has a long-term supply agreement with Rio Tinto and obtains approximately 60% of its sulfuric acid supply from the Magna smelter.

Itafos announced the disruption in its acid supply from Rio Tinto on Sept. 30. The company issued revised 2021 guidance on Nov. 11, which took the sulfuric acid supply disruption into account. The resumption of full production at Conda is within the timeframe considered in the Company’s revised full-year guidance for 2021.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Itafos’ Husky 1/North Dry Ridge  mine development project on Oct. 22. The approval of this project will extend the life of the Conda plant 13 years. BLM is currently collecting public comments of the DEIS through Dec. 6.

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