Press Release

More strategic metals for Europe: Aurubis commissions modernized tankhouse in Lünen 

Hamburg/Lünen | Thursday, June 6, 2024

  • € 60 million investment in copper tankhouse overhaul 
  • Capacity increase for 10 % more copper cathodes 
  • Clear commitment to Aurubis Lünen site 

Aurubis officially celebrated the launch of the refurbished tankhouse for copper production at its recycling plant in the German city of Lünen today. The modernized facility will increase production capacity by around 10 % and generate up to 210,000 t of copper cathodes a year. € 60 million went into future-proofing the tankhouse for the coming decades and safeguarding the recycling site’s long-term success. This is because in addition to copper, large concentrations of other metals like gold, tin and nickel can be processed as well.  

“Global demand for raw materials is on the rise. As the largest multimetal recycling site in Europe, Lünen is a cornerstone of the circular economy. We’re delivering more responsibly produced metals to the market with our modernized tankhouse — for a successful energy transition. While strengthening and securing our core business at the same time,” Aurubis AG COO Multimetal Recycling Inge Hofkens said. 

We’re delivering more responsibly produced metals to the market with our modernized tankhouse — for a successful energy transition.
Inge Hofkens

Inge Hofkens

Chief Operations Officer Multimetal Recycling

Work on the tankhouse began in October 2020 and was completed on schedule. Upgrades include the complete refurbishment of the tankhouse basins, infrastructure improvements like a renovated roof, and investment in further automation, such as state-of-the-art robot technology. 

“I am particularly proud of the fact that we were able to keep the facility running reliably at 80 % while construction was going on. A great achievement by the whole team! Aurubis is advancing its pioneering role in recycling by investing in renovating the tankhouse,” Lünen Plant Manager Verena von Weiss said. 

“This significant investment of € 60 million is a clear signal of Aurubis’ commitment to the Lünen recycling site, to strong and efficient industry, to protecting the climate, and to safeguarding jobs and apprenticeships. Modern and responsible industrial companies like Aurubis are the foundation of our region’s prosperity,” Lünen Mayor Jürgen Kleine-Frauns said. 

The tankhouse is the last step in the copper refining process, in which copper anodes — plates weighing about 400 kg with a copper content of up to 98 % recovered by melting down recycling raw materials in multiple upstream steps — are electrochemically dissolved. The copper ions are deposited on stainless steel plates, resulting in 99.99 % pure copper for optimal conductivity in downstream applications. The other substances contained in the anode, such as precious metals, precipitate out during electrolysis and are then separated from each other in additional steps and refined in the Aurubis Group network. 

Angela Seidler
Angela Seidler

Vice President Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

Phone +49 40 7883-3178
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Christoph Tesch
Christoph Tesch

Head of Corporate Communications

Phone +49 40 7883-2178
Mobile +49 172 4382 388
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Meino Hauschildt

Manager Corporate Communications, Spokesperson

Phone +49 40 7883-3037
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