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P: 1300 554 757 F: 03 9609 3015


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The Bell Bay manganese smelter at George Town, 50 kilometres north of Launceston in northern Tasmania, is known as the Tasmanian Electro Metallurgical Company (TEMCO) and the only manganese ferroalloy smelter in Australia. It produces sinter, silicomanganese and high carbon ferromanganese.

Bell Bay Manganese Smelter Supplies Steel Additives to Over 50 Companies
The Bell Bay manganese smelter (TEMCO) supplies critical steel additives to over 50 companies around the world. The TEMCO plant, that was constructed in the early 1960's and officially opened on May 11, 1962, is a major part of Tasmania's industrial base. It comprises four electric-arc furnaces that produce over 250,000 tonnes of manganese alloys a year, most of which is exported.

Bell Bay Manganese Smelter (TEMCO) put up for Sale in 2012
The Bell Bay manganese smelter (TEMCO), that is a subsidiary of BHP Billiton, was put up for sale in 2012 because of downfalls in the metal industry and the continuing high Australian dollar in comparisin to the $US but this move was abandonded in November 2013. Substantial interest was shown in the sale but no offer came up to BHP Billiton's expectations. BHP Billiton have now decided to focus on ensuring the smelter has long term sustainability and become viable as a stand alone operation.
Bell Bay Manganese Smelter Owned by BHP Billiton Through Samancor Manganese
BHP Billiton manganese ore and alloys assets are held through a 60 percent holding in Samancor Manganese in which Anglo American hold the other 40 percent. The Bell Bay manganese smelter has the capacity to produce 350,000 tonnes of sinter, 130,000 tonnes of high carbon ferro- manganese and 125,000 tonnes of silico-manganese.

GFC Hurts Bell Bay Manganese Smelter Ongoing Viability
The Bell Bay manganese smelter has been a volatile operation since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) when, in 2008, it was forced to cut production by temporarilly shutting down its furnaces. It has never fully recovered from the GFC fall in metal proces. Work was suspended at the smelter again in February 2012 while the company reviewed its economic viability as a continuing operation. However, work restarted again a short while later with a considerable loss of jobs that is to be obtained through natural attrition, an employment freeze and re-deployment to other BHP Billiton operations. By August 2013 all four furnaces were once again in full operation.

Bell Bay Manganese Smelter (TEMCO) Introduces Cost Cutting Initiatives
BHP Billiton has achieved significant cost reduction at the TEMCO Bell Bay manganese smelter since the 2012 shutdown through introducing freight optimisation, ore blending, flexibility in the usage of its electricity usage and workforce efficiency.
Bell Bay Manganese Smelter Uses Electric arc Furnaces for Smelting Purposes
Smelting is carried out at the Bell Bay manganese smelter by means of arc furnaces in order to reduce manganese oxide ore to manganese metal for it to form two different alloys. The furnaces refractory linings consist of graphite bricks that need replacing periodically.

See updated article TEMCO

BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton have been in the industry for over 150 years & are among the largest producers of major commodities such as aluminium, copper, coal, iron ore, silver & branching out into oil & gas.They have over 100 locations throughout the world & employ more than 100,000 employees & more


BHP Billiton
171 Collins Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000


Phone13 0055 4757
fax03 9609 3015

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