The enrichment operation takes place at Kpémé, on the coast, 35 km East of Lomé and is performed in two phases:

  • The wet processing;
  • The dry processing.

The wet processing

The crude phosphate containing 20 to 30% of clay is transformed into pulp by adding seawater, in large cylinders animated by a rotary movement (overflowing). The seawater necessary to this operation is pumped is the ocean at 400 meters from the shore. At the exit of the overflows, the pulp undergoes two cuts.

  • First, a high cut by screening to remove all particles with a diameter greater than a certain mesh.
  • Then, a low cut by hydrocycloning, so as to eliminate the finest particles, constituting the clay matrix.

The product, stripped of its argillaceous matrix is then admitted in the extractors where it is centrifuged by the elimination of sea water, and rinsed for the elimination of the chlorine introduced during the disintegration, washing and sorting operations.

The dry processing

The dewatered phosphate containing 17% of water, undergoes a dehydration in order to bring this content below 2%. On each chain, this operation is carried out in a large rotary tube with a horizontal axis (dryer) crossed by a current of hot air produced by a heath of 15,000 therms using heavy fuel.

Inside the dryer, buckets allow both the mixing and the displacement of the phosphate. The recovery of the dried product is partly done by dusting off the fumes (very light particles) and partly by the dryer outlet chute (heavier particles).

When the dry phosphate content of (Fe2O3 + Al2O3) exceeds 2.5%, the iron oxides are then partially removed using high intensity « magnetic separators ». The processed product is then stored in three hangars with a capacity of 320,000 tons of enriched phosphate and ready for export.