The company Kovohuty, a.s. placed in town Krompachy, was established in year 2000 and is build on past traditions in the region of Spiš, which is characterized also by long-lasting metallurgy tradition. The Krompachy's copper known as "cuprum Crumbasis" is for the first time appearing on the European markets already in 14thcentury.
On april 4th 2012 Montanwerke Brixlegg AG, Austria and as well as Kovohuty, a.s. as its subsidiary have been officially acquired by the Swiss Group UMCOR AG, through its fully owned subsidiary UMCOR Holding GmbH, Vienna.
UMCOR AG is a Swiss company specialized in the trading of non ferrous metals and is already active worldwide.
This acquisition represents for UMCOR AG a technological and strategic integration which enables them to continue and develop operations of the copper division through further expansion programs and to initiate synergies the different entities of the Group.
The main mission of the company is to effectively recover the copper from the secondary scrap materials, and their restoration to the production cycle, by which it's helping to upkeep the non-renewable sources of our planet with the principles of sustainable development.
Kovohuty, a.s. is constantly upgrading the used technologies in accordance with fulfillment of the vision, to minimize the impact on the environment and maximize the effectiveness of input material recovery. Since the year 2001 is company also holder of the quality certificate ISO 9001:2001.
Mission and vision
Effectively gather the copper from secondary scrap materials, recycle it to the processing industry and save the non-renewable sources of our planet. With the ecological technologies of scrap treatment raise the level of copper recycling and by its processing gather also other secondary raw materials.
With the further technology improvement and constant modernization, process the copper with the goal to minimize the costs and environment impact.
History of metallurgy in region of middle Spiš
On the territory of present Slovak republic have metals appeared already in the early phase of civilization, in years 3 700 - 3 300 B.C. At that time the Polgarian culture, which was the culmination of neolithical revolution, begun in limited form to use metals, as gold and copper, especially for jewelry production.
For neolith was later characteristic also extension of copper utilization for tool production, e.g. hatchets and various blades. The first procedures for metal foundering, smithing and surface mining have appeared. That's why this period many experts mark as Copper Age or Chalkolit.
The rise of Mediterranean civilization in second millennium has brought to Europe new practices of alloying steel with
arsenic and later with tin, allowing obtaining alloy known as bronze, much preferable for tools production than too soft copper. With the arrival of Bronze Age has Chalkolit historically ended but the copper has kept its use till nowadays.
History of company
- On april 4th 2012 Montanwerke Brixlegg AG, Austria and as well as Kovohuty, a.s. as its subsidiary have been officially acquired by the Swiss Group UMCOR AG, through its fully owned subsidiary UMCOR Holding GmbH, Vienna. UMCOR AG is a Swiss company specialized in the trading of non ferrous metals and is already active worldwide.
- The copper anodes production line brought to test operation. The maximum capacity of production reaches 130 000 t of copper anodes per annum.
- Beginning of construction works on new copper anodes production line.
- Modernization of shaft furnace with aim to increase enforcement of installation, lower the copper losses and environment impacts.
- Integration of Montanwerke Brixlegg AG and Kovohuty,a.s. to international consortium A-TEC Industries AG, Austriao.
- Because of low effectiveness in production the copper electrolysis plant is closed.
- Entry of foreign capital by Montanwerke Brixlegg AG, Austria which became the new owner of Kovohuty, a.s.
- Company Kovohuty, a.s. is established.
- Because of low prices on world markets the production of copper has stopped.
- Privatization of company, that was formerly with 100% state share, by private owner.
- Contractual agreement about investment into the new continuous casting line for production of copper wire rod, with Italian company Continuus Properzi.
- The new modern filtration facility for cleaning off-gases and dust separation was brought to function.
- The beginning of building works on technology that was catching off-gases with high share of SO2 from converters and using it by the production of sulphur acid.
- Copper pins production from cathode copper was put into practice. The rise of production has brought the need to build the new electrolysis and extension of the old one. The whole capacity reaches 24 000 t of cathodes per annum.
- The beginning of project work on reconstruction of smeltery hall and orientation in technology on the process used by the smelting of copper concentrates, in flame furnace with use of earth gas. In close connection with Technical University Košice have research workers studied the possibility and opportunities of continual copper production on the real scale test machinery.
- State business Kovohuty Krompachy becomes the part of trust called United Kovohutě Praha, later known as Kovohutě Praha.
- Filters for cleaning off-gases, from shaft furnace and converters were constructed. The agglomeration of sulphuric concentrates was canceled.
- Kovohuty Krompachy are becoming a part of state business ZSNP Žiar nad Hronom and are the only one copper producer in former Czechoslovakia.
- Construction of electrolysis was finished, and on 16th of September Kovohuty start to produce first electrolytic refined copper. The main supplier of Cu concentrates are mines Železorudné bane Slovinky.
- The production has repeatedly started. Into the company arrive a lot of scrap copper materials, which have accumulated through the war and close after it. Low rentability of production brings necessity to use more modern technological techniques and devices; the prerefining of copper in converters is brought to practice. After the deliverance is Krompachy production plant becoming a part of state business mines Železorudné bane, Spišská Nová Ves.
- German troops are dismantling technology and deporting it to the west, the rest is devastated and burned.
- The production in Krompachy's smeltery has stopped. Slovak partisans are sabotaging the operation of Slovak mines.
- Krompachy's copper production plant is becoming a part of Herman-Göring Werke and its activity is subordinated to German interests.
- With the endeavor of Switzerland company Werkzeugmaschienen fabric Örlikon Bührle and company starts the production of copper in the plant of former ironworks.
- The financial crisis is culminating.
- The crisis after 1st world war, restraints in activities and later in total close down of production plant.
- Construction of modern ironworks, technologically best equipped and biggest in Ugrian in second half of 19th century. Establishment of capital strong Krompachy Ironworks, later known as Krompachy-pohornadsko Ironworks Company.
- in the first half of the 19th century, stagnation. The copper production is centered to eastern part of Slovakia (aprox. 28 smelteries), between the others also smeltery in Krompachy. Production in that time is on 3-4th place in international scale.
- Copper ore is smelted in more than 30 smelteries in the whole Slovakia.
- In the town Krompachy is build Ironworks with high furnace and refining smithery.
- In near place called Štefanska huta is built a metallurgy device for ore refining. And also electrolytic refining plant for copper, second biggest after German Norddeutsche Affinerie in Hamburg.
- The copper production in the area is rising up to 21 000 cents per annum. Krompachy are in this epoch declared as mining town for iron ore. The drop of ore supplies means the movement of copper industry center from area of Banska Bystrica to Spiš estate. After anti Habsburg rebellions are circumstances getting worse. Mines and smelteries are damaged, sometimes marked also from earlier rebellions in Bystrica estate.
- Export from Eastern Slovakia to Prussia reaches more than 14 000 cents (1 cent=100 L.s.d., i.e. 56 kg). Since 80th of 14th century the production rises that much, that businessmen from Spiš are not able to cover the demand. At this time starts the long lasting period of Banska Bystrica mining works development. Copper from Eastern Slovakia where belongs also Krompachy's copper (cuprum Crumbasis) is getting on the European markets.