Recycling solutions

With our multimetal recycling, we are making an important contribution to the modern circular economy, promoting the efficient and environmentally friendly use of valuable resources, and contributing to raw material security

In addition to the processing of copper concentrates, the recycling of copper scrap and complex recycling raw materials, such as computer circuit boards, is a key business area at Aurubis. Non-ferrous metals like copper can be recycled as often as desired without a loss of quality. Furthermore, complex recycling raw materials contain not only copper, but a number of other accompanying elements that can be recovered, such as gold, silver, nickel, tin, lead, and zinc.

Closing the loop is only possible if metals are returned after use. Which is why we consider how metals can be returned in customer relationships and product marketing as well. The production units provide individualized solutions for taking back the recycling materials that accumulate from the processing of copper products and other metals. This takes place at the different value-added stages of our product customers and their customers.

Aurubis processes recycling materials at different sites. The managers of these sites report to the Chief Production Officer. Our sites in Lünen (Germany), Olen and Beerse (both in Belgium), and Berango (Spain) specialize in processing recycling raw materials. Recycling raw materials are nearly the only feedstock at our largest recycling plant, the recycling site in Lünen. The plant is certified as a specialized waste management company in accordance with the German EfbV ordinance and through WEEELABEX in accordance with the European series of standards EN 50625.

The Hamburg and Pirdop sites also process recycling raw materials. Though the primary smelters utilize copper concentrates as their main feed material, they also use copper scrap to a certain extent because it is useful for process cooling and therefore enables particularly energy-efficient processing. In December 2022, an investment of around € 190 million was approved for the expansion of recycling capability and optimization of the flow chart in Hamburg: With the Complex Recycling Hamburg (CRH) project, Aurubis will have the capacity to process around 32,000 additional tons of recycling material and internal, complex smelter intermediary products on a larger scale starting at the end of 2025. As such, the company is closing both internal and external additional value chains in another contribution to the circular economy.