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Press releases

Atlantic Copper Press Release on the Huelva Smelter 50th Anniversary

Under the slogan ‘A change of era’, the company reaffirms its commitment to Andalusia

Huelva, 9 June 2020 - This month, the Atlantic Copper smelter is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Over the past half century, the company has demonstrated its commitment to Huelva and Andalusia: for five decades it has been part of the region’s demographic, economic and social development.

Today, Atlantic Copper is the only primary copper smelter in Southern Europe and third largest in size in the EU, with an annual consumption of 1.1 million tons of copper concentrate and yearly production of 286,000 tons of cathode and 1 million tons of sulfuric acid.

One of the key moments in its 50-year history was when Freeport-McMoRan acquired Atlantic Copper becoming its sole shareholder in 1993. This translated into enormous stimulus to growth and sustainability for the Huelva metallurgical complex. The company expanded its facilities, doubling their production capacity while also implementing improvements in manufacturing, using the best technologies available. Today, it is one of the most efficient smelters in the world in terms of energy consumption.

Atlantic Copper’s President Javier Targhetta expresses his “gratitude to Freeport-McMoRan, a leading international mining company, for the forward-looking commitment made by the U.S. company, driving us to become a role model and a competitive and exemplary enterprise in terms of energy efficiency.”

Outstanding work by employees

As this executive sees it, “Behind the company’s excellent performance record and export and manufacturing figures, there is a human group committed to safety, environmental care, process improvement, efficiency and quality. Atlantic Copper’s achievements and its track record during the past 50 years has positioned it as an economic and business benchmark in Spain, and as a global efficiency leader.”

Change of era

“This first half-century has been filled with success, and the new stage opening up now will be a Change of Era to continue growing and serving as an economic driver, propelled by the enthusiasm and determination of our people who give their very best every day”, Targhetta said.

Today, Atlantic Copper is prepared to face a future where copper will be decisive. Over the next two decades, the global phenomena of urbanization, electrification of the economy, and the development of renewable energies will have a very positive impact on copper consumption, as all these are copper intensive trends. Producing copper in a sustainable manner and firmly committing to innovation and talent will set the pace in this “CHANGE OF ERA”.