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Minerals 2018, 8(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8010001

Effect of Pretreatment on Leaching Primary Copper Sulfide in Acid-Chloride Media

1
Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Procesos de Minerales, Universidad de Antofagasta, Avda, Angamos 601, Antofagasta 1270300, Chile
2
Centro de Investigación Científico Tecnológico para la Minería (CICITEM), Sucre 220, Of. 604, Antofagasta 1270300, Chile
3
School of Natural and Built Environment, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, Kingston University, London KT1 2EE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 October 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heap Leaching: The State-of-the-Art)
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to improve the dissolution of copper sulfide ore composed mainly of chalcopyrite (1.21 wt %) and bornite (0.54 wt %) using a pretreatment before leaching. The effect of the pretreatment on copper sulfide dissolution was investigated using different types of leaching. Three sets of experimental tests were performed (flask, reactor and mini-column). Using experimental design, three operational variables in the ore pretreatment were evaluated: chloride concentration (20, 50 and 90 kg/t), repose time (7, 20 and 40 days) and repose temperature (20 and 50 °C). A maximum of 93% copper dissolution was obtained when the ore was treated with 90 kg Cl/t ore, 40 d of repose time and 50 °C in flask leaching. Without any ore pretreatment, 53% copper dissolution was achieved. Using reactor leaching, an 85% copper dissolution was obtained using pretreatment stage. Without this pretreatment, only 55% copper dissolution was obtained. The final test, which involved leaching a pretreated ore in a mini-column at room temperature, yielded 49% copper dissolution. The data showed that repose time and temperature were the most important variables affecting copper extraction in the pretreatment stage. This study indicates that pretreatment has a positive effect on copper dissolution from primary copper sulfide ore in an acid-chloride medium. It also provides a feasible alternative for treating primary copper sulfide ores at the industrial level. View Full-Text
Keywords: chalcopyrite; chloride; leaching; pretreatment; seawater chalcopyrite; chloride; leaching; pretreatment; seawater
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Cerda, C.P.; Taboada, M.E.; Jamett, N.E.; Ghorbani, Y.; Hernández, P.C. Effect of Pretreatment on Leaching Primary Copper Sulfide in Acid-Chloride Media. Minerals 2018, 8, 1.

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