The author of the statue is Wojciech Batko, a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. The sculptor watched the work of smelter workers and learned about the production process at the Legnica Copper Smelter. In his statue, St. Florian is pouring copper from a crucible. Under the pedestal, there is a commemorative plaque. The monument was financed by the Legnica Copper Smelter.
“This year’s celebration of the Smelter Workers’ Day at KGHM is special for a number of reasons. For the first time in the company’s history, metallurgist ranks were awarded and gala uniforms are being prepared to emphasize the importance of “men of fire” to the company. Today we unveiled a statue of St. Florian at the Legnica Copper Smelter, which is celebrating its anniversary, but we are also opening a new chapter in the history of this division. The Legnica Hybrid Smelter project is a project with enormous potential and we have many development plans linked to it,” said Tomasz Zdzikot, the CEO of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.
“This unique monument is meant to symbolize the hard work of smelter workers, the respect for smelter traditions, and most importantly, our gratitude to the patron saint of smelter workers. We have a lot to be thankful for, as the past years have brought the smelter a lot of satisfaction, and further investments are changing our business profile and are important milestones in our history,” added Michał Świderski, the CEO of the Legnica Copper Smelter.
St. Florian, was a Roman officer in the 3rd century CE, drowned with a stone at his neck in the Aniza River for defending persecuted Christians. In iconography, he is depicted in the clothes of a Roman legionary, with a vessel of water as he puts out a fire. He became the patron saint of difficult and dangerous professions: smelter- and steelworkers, chimney sweeps, and firefighters. A statue of St. Florian also stands at the Głogów Copper Smelter.
2023 is a special year for the Legnica Copper Smelter, not only because of its 70th anniversary. Work is underway at this division of KGHM to implement the Legnica Hybrid Smelter program. The idea behind the project is to utilize the potential of scrap copper by implementing the assumptions of the Closed-Circuit Economy. This will allow the smelter to process recycled materials, with the ability to melt its own concentrates or concentrates from external sources. The division is already a leader in KGHM in the area of cathode copper production based on non-primary source feedstock (ore). The electrolytic copper produced at the Legnica Hybrid Smelter contains 70 percent of various types of scrap.
In all these activities, the Legnica Copper Smelter takes into account pro-environmental measures. The proof is the system for elimination of arsenic and mercury upstream of the SOLINOX system, which complies with the highest environmental standards and uses minimal quantities of water. The amount of wastewater generated has also been reduced.
In 2021, the Legnica and Głogów Copper Smelters were awarded the Copper Mark, a prestigious guarantee of responsible manufacturing. The certificate confirms efficient copper production carried out in compliance with the highest standards. The Cedynia Copper Smelter should also join this prestigious group soon.