Our history

CCR Refinery has evolved greatly over the past 90 years. Our first challenge was to face the aftermath of the American stock market crash of 1929—we got through those hard times thanks to our strong ability to adapt. And all the years since have been rich with learning opportunities, teaching us that nothing is ever too complex. Today, we use ultra-specialized processes to produce the metals that are an integral part of our daily work.

Historical milestones

  • 1930

    Plant construction begins

  • 1931

    First electrorefining cycle starts up in March

  • 1934

    First facilities for the recovery of selenium and tellurium installed

  • 1938

    Tankhouse expanded to achieve a refining capacity of 100,000 metric tonnes of copper per year

  • 1945

    Copper sulfate plant built

  • 1952

    New tellurium plant starts up

  • 1966

    Tankhouse expanded a second time to boost production capacity to 350,000 metric tonnes of copper per year, making CCR Refinery the world’s second largest copper refinery

  • 1977

    Nickel sulfate manufacturing begins

  • 1981

    New, automated anode slime washing and stacking equipment installed

  • 1988

    Top-blown rotary converter (TBRC) for processing anode slime commissioned

  • 1991

    Anode preparation machine (APM) installed

  • 1996

    Permanent Cathode Upgrade (PCU) project begins, a major modernization program to reduce operating costs and make the Company more competitive on the global stage

  • 1999

    Antimony-bismuth removal plant commissioned

  • 2000

    PCU project finalized, making the Company the most automated refinery of its kind in the world

  • 2006

    Entire process for treating higher-nickel-content anodes revised

  • 2013

    Glencore acquires Xstrata: CCR Refinery becomes part of one of the world’s largest diversified natural resource conglomerates

  • 2018

    New Furnace 8 dust removal system commissioned