Simcoa (Silicon Metal Company of Australia) Operations Pty Ltd is an Australian-based company committed to producing the world's highest quality silicon to meet customers' precise needs.
Simcoa, based at Kemerton, 160kms south of Perth, Western Australia, proudly operates the only fully integrated silicon metal production plant in the world.
The industrial site consists of a sawmill, two charcoal retorts, three submerged arc electric furnaces, as well as a filter house (for cleaning the furnace off gases), and product packaging and despatch facilities.
This modern plant uses the highest quality raw materials - low ash charcoal, coal and a high purity quartzite. With highly skilled operators and technical expertise, this results in a product which is unique in terms of its consistency and quality.
The high purity quartzite for the silicon smelter is quarried from a mine owned and operated by Simcoa at Moora, 180kms north of Perth. The quarzite deposit contains more than two million tonnes of proven reserves and at least a further four million tonnes in the indicated and inferred resources category.
Kemerton is situated close to a major highway route with direct access to Western Australia's major port facility at Fremantle.
The wood used to manufacture our charcoal is a key reductant for the silicon furnaces. The wood is a mixture of forest residues (that are unsuitable for other applications; it comes from bauxite mining / commercial logging), forestry operations and sawmill off-cuts provided by local hardwood sawmills. In the past, both the residues and off-cuts were burnt as waste.
The Simcoa plant is one of the largest, single-site users of power in Western Australia. As a bulk user, Simcoa provides a stable base load for the power supply company, which means that we absorb a lot of the fluctuations which are caused by people using power only at certain times of the day - i.e. companies that operate only Monday to Friday, or people who turn applicances on when they get home at 5pm. Alumina refineries use more power, but they generate their own.
Simcoa commenced operations in December 1989, originally starting out as Barrack Silicon. Today Simcoa is capable of producing in excess of 50,000 tonnes of high purity silicon annually.
In addition, approximately 11,000 tonnes of Microsilica (silica fume) is extracted from the furnace off-gases and is sold as a by-product.