Doe Run — A Smelting and Refining Company
Smelting and Refining — How it Works
The Herculaneum smelter processes about half of all the lead concentrates extracted from Doe Run’s Southeast Missouri mines. During primary smelting, Doe Run heats concentrates to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit to create molten lead. The sulfur that comes from some of the mineral is converted to sulfuric acid — predominately used in the manufacturing of fertilizer.
The resulting lead product, referred to as lead bullion, is refined to remove impurities (namely copper).
The bullion is then pumped into a refinery, where undesirable minerals, such as silver and zinc, are extracted. The result: lead that is 99.99 percent pure.
Social Commitment, Environmental Progress
The Herculaneum smelter began operating in 1892 and has helped the city and its economy grow for more than a century. Today, it is the last remaining primary lead smelter in the nation. It serves U.S. companies and manufacturers with the lead they need for batteries, radiation protection and other uses. The facility provides nearly 300 jobs and supports the local community, schools and emergency responders through donations, expertise and infrastructure investments.
Doe Run manages a number of programs to reduce environmental impact and measure performance in Herculaneum. For example, Doe Run monitors and reports lead emissions with seven air monitoring stations and conducts regular community soil sampling and remediation.
The End of an Era
Doe Run has spent millions of dollars on upgrades, engineering and administration control measures to improve the smelter’s environmental performance, and as of October 2012, Doe Run has reduced air emissions, measured at its five ambient air monitors, to be between .01 and 0.51 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air (µg/m 3 ). In October 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted a new National Ambient Air Quality Standard for lead, lowering the acceptable level of lead in ambient air to 0.15ug/m3 and stipulating that measurements be reported as a rolling three-month average. Doe Run currently plans to cease smelting operations in Herculaneum at the end of 2013, prior to the attainment dates for both the lead and sulfur dioxide NAAQS.
Doe Run’s Future in Herculaneum
Doe Run will support the repurposing of the Herculaneum site in conjunction with developers who recognize the property’s strategic location on the Mississippi River. In March 2012, Riverview Commerce Park LLC announced intentions to to purchase and develop approximately 350 acres of Doe Run property. The project is expected to bring together a cluster of light industrial companies offering multi-modal bulk storage and shipping, renewable energy and alternative fuels.
ISO 9001 — Commitment to Quality
Doe Run’s Herculaneum smelter maintains ISO 9001:2008 quality management systems certification and is recognized for: superior product identification, corrective and preventive actions, control of non-conforming products, handling, storage and packaging, inspection and testing, resource management (people and equipment), documentation and data control.
ISO 9001 certification is a nationally and internationally recognized symbol of a company’s dedication to superior quality, customer satisfaction and continuous improvement.
Herculaneum Smelting Division
881 Main Street
Herculaneum, MO 63048
Phone: (636) 479-5311