Texas Copper Corporation
Texas City, TX, U.S.

Texas Copper Smelter

Fluor was contracted by Texas Copper Corporation to provide engineering and procurement services for a grassroots copper smelting plant in Texas City. Using the parent company Mitsubishi's proprietary Continuous Copper Smelting and Converting Process, the facility will produce copper from copper concentrate.

Total copper production will equal 182,000 metric tons per year. The facility will produce 500,000 metric tons per year of sulfuric acid as a second major product.

Client's Challenge

​Texas Copper Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Metals Corporation. The Texas grassroots smelter is the first application in the United States of the Mitsubishi Continuous Copper Smelting and Converting Process. This proprietary method is the world's first self-enclosed, oxygen-enriched, continuous smelting and converting system. The Texas City facility will be the third copper plant in the world using this environmentally safe process, along with plants located in Naoshima, Japan and Ontario, Canada.

The 1,500-acre site is located along Galveston Bay and is landscaped with native trees and shrubs for environmental consideration. The primary source of ore is coming from South America and will be transported via barge to the new plant through a newly dredged channel connecting with the inter-coastal waterway.

Fluor's Solution

Fluor engaged the talents of both the Redwood City, California and Houston, Texas home offices to execute the engineering and procurement scope of work. To extract the copper, the ore must be oxidized with oxygen-enriched air, yielding copper matte and sulfur dioxide. In the past, this process was environmentally destructive, but the Mitsubishi process has now virtually eliminated pollution issues.

Close to 99.9% of the sulfur dioxide is captured and chemically changed into sulfuric acid. The 500,000 metric tons of sulfuric acid is then sold for use in fertilizers and other chemical products.


​The grassroots smelter was completed in late 1991.​