Special Issue "Recent Advances in Copper Ore Processing and Extraction"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Weiguo Xie
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Swenson College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN 55812, USA
Interests: mathematical modelling, simulation; process optimization; measurement and control
Prof. Dr. Hylke J. Glass
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9FE, UK
Interests: geometallurgy; resource modelling; mine sequencing; mineral process design; sampling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Eiman Amini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Cooperative Research Centre Optimising Resource Extraction, PO Box 403, Kenmore, QLD 4069, Australia
Interests: process model development; geometallurgy; value chain diagnostics; control data analysis

Special Issue Information

Copper is one of the most important metal commodities, with applications in many products which are essential to sustain modern life. To meet its growing demand, production of copper from primary sources is required. Producers, however, are facing challenges due to falling head grades and more complex ore mineralogy. In this Special Issue, recent advances in copper ore processing and extraction are discussed, focusing on:

  • innovations in hydrometallurgical, pyrometallurgical, electrometallurgical, and pre-concentration technologies;
  • improving copper ore resource efficiency through application of integrated approaches.

This Special Issue aims to bring together studies from academic and industry experts, and contribute to a better understanding of solutions to the current major industrial challenges.

Prof. Dr. Weiguo Xie
Prof. Dr. Hylke J. Glass
Dr. Eiman Amini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • copper ore processing
  • hydrometallurgy
  • pyrometallurgy
  • electrometallurgy
  • process modelling
  • complex copper ores
  • pre-concentration
  • by-product metals

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Copper Extraction from Oxide Ore of Almalyk Mine by H2SO4 in Simulated Heap Leaching: Effect of Particle Size and Acid Concentration
Minerals 2021, 11(9), 1020; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11091020 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 422
Abstract
In this investigation, a laboratory-scale study to extract copper (Cu) from its oxide ore (0.425–11.2 mm particle size) was conducted using varied sulfuric acid (H2SO4) concentrations (0.05–0.5 M) as a lixiviant. Through a physicochemical and mineralogical analysis of real [...] Read more.
In this investigation, a laboratory-scale study to extract copper (Cu) from its oxide ore (0.425–11.2 mm particle size) was conducted using varied sulfuric acid (H2SO4) concentrations (0.05–0.5 M) as a lixiviant. Through a physicochemical and mineralogical analysis of real field ore samples from the Almalyk mine heap site (Tashkent, Uzbekistan), malachite was identified as a Cu-bearing mineral. Extraction rates were analyzed according to the ore particle size and acid concentration. The Cu extraction with the smallest particle size (in 24 h) varied between 76.7% and 94.26% at varied H2SO4 concentrations (0.05–0.5 M). Almost half (50%) of Cu was extracted from the ore within 4 and 72 h of contact time for 0.425–2 mm and 5.6–11.2 mm particle sizes, respectively, using 0.15 M H2SO4. Weeklong leaching experiments with 0.5 M H2SO4 revealed a higher copper extraction rate (≥73%) from coarse ore particles (5.6–11.2 mm). Along with the copper extraction, iron (29.6 wt%), aluminum (70.2 wt%), magnesium (85.4 wt%), and calcium (44.4 wt%) were also leached out considerably through the dissolution of silicate and carbonate gangue minerals. In this study, an 80.0–94.26% copper extraction rate with reduced acid consumption (20%) proved to be a cost-effective approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Copper Ore Processing and Extraction)
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Article
Rapid Atmospheric Leaching of Chalcopyrite Using a Novel Reagent of Trichloroisocyanuric Acid
Minerals 2021, 11(9), 1012; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11091012 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 334
Abstract
With the decrease in high-grade chalcopyrite resources, the copper extraction from low-grade chalcopyrite has attracted more and more attention. However, the kinetic rates of chalcopyrite leaching with traditional oxidants are usually very slow due to the formation of the passivation layer. In this [...] Read more.
With the decrease in high-grade chalcopyrite resources, the copper extraction from low-grade chalcopyrite has attracted more and more attention. However, the kinetic rates of chalcopyrite leaching with traditional oxidants are usually very slow due to the formation of the passivation layer. In this study, a novel reagent of chlorinated oxidant, trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCCA), was used to leach chalcopyrite for the first time. The experimental results showed that when the initial oxidant concentration for TCCA was 0.054 mol·L−1, the leaching temperature was kept at 55 °C, and the pH of the pulp was controlled at 1, the oxidation efficiency of Cu can reach above 90% in less than 30 min. Various analyses of chalcopyrite mineral ore and its oxidized residues, such as chemical composition analysis, X-ray diffraction analysis, scanning electron microscopy analysis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, were conducted, respectively. No obvious passivation layer was found on the chalcopyrite surface, though the sulfur product can also be generated during the leaching. Reaction kinetic analysis results showed that the different influence of surface reaction and diffusion process on the dissolution of chalcopyrite is little due to the fast leaching speed. After calculation, the activation energy of the whole leaching reaction is 9.06 kJ·mol−1, much lower than that in other reports. The mechanism was also proposed that TCCA was hydrolyzed in the solution to form hypochlorous acid, which is the strong oxidant, and cyanuric acid, which prevents the formation of a passivation layer. The processing in this study is expected to be applied as a novel method for atmospheric leaching of chalcopyrite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Copper Ore Processing and Extraction)
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Article
Mineralogical Prediction on the Flotation Behavior of Copper and Molybdenum Minerals from Blended Cu–Mo Ores in Seawater
Minerals 2021, 11(8), 869; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11080869 - 11 Aug 2021
Viewed by 781
Abstract
The copper ore in Chilean copper porphyry deposits is often associated with molybdenum minerals. This copper–molybdenum (Cu–Mo) sulfide ore is generally mined from various locations in the mining site; thus, the mineral composition, oxidation degree, mineral particle size, and grade vary. Therefore, in [...] Read more.
The copper ore in Chilean copper porphyry deposits is often associated with molybdenum minerals. This copper–molybdenum (Cu–Mo) sulfide ore is generally mined from various locations in the mining site; thus, the mineral composition, oxidation degree, mineral particle size, and grade vary. Therefore, in the mining operation, it is common to blend the ores mined from various spots and then process them using flotation. In this study, the floatability of five types of Cu–Mo ores and the blending of these ores in seawater was investigated. The oxidation degree of these Cu–Mo ores was evaluated, and the correlation between flotation recovery and oxidation degree is presented. Furthermore, the flotation kinetics of each Cu–Mo ore were calculated based on a mineralogical analysis using mineral liberation analysis (MLA). A mineralogical prediction model was proposed to estimate the flotation behavior of blended Cu–Mo ore as a function of the flotation behavior of each Cu–Mo ore. The flotation results show that the recovery of copper and molybdenum decreased with the increasing copper oxidization degree. In addition, the recovery of blended ore can be predicted via the flotation rate equation, using the maximum recovery (Rmax) and flotation rate coefficient (k) determined from the flotation rate analysis of each ore before blending. It was found that Rmax and k of the respective minerals slightly decreased with increasing the degree of copper oxidation. Moreover, Rmax varied greatly depending on the mineral species. The total copper and molybdenum recovery were strongly affected by the degree of copper oxidation as the mineral fraction in the ore varied greatly depending upon the degree of oxidation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Copper Ore Processing and Extraction)
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Article
The Role of Solar Energy (UV-VIS-NIR) as an Assistant for Sulfide Minerals Leaching and Its Potential Application for Metal Extraction
Minerals 2021, 11(8), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11080828 - 30 Jul 2021
Viewed by 635
Abstract
The mining industry is facing emerging challenges as a result of the increase in energy consumption and environmental demands. These facts have promoted the use of renewable energy sources, such as wind, geothermal and, mainly, solar energy. This paper discusses the role of [...] Read more.
The mining industry is facing emerging challenges as a result of the increase in energy consumption and environmental demands. These facts have promoted the use of renewable energy sources, such as wind, geothermal and, mainly, solar energy. This paper discusses the role of solar energy (UV-VIS-NIR) in leaching processes, evaluating its potential application in metal extraction from sulfide minerals, based on photochemical mechanisms that promote the regeneration of ferric iron or the so called ferrous iron cycling. The present paper discusses the possibility that ultraviolet, visible light and near infrared irradiation (e.g., sunlight provided) can assist the leaching processes in two main ways: by the oxidation of sulfide minerals through in-situ generated Fenton-like reactions, and by the photochemical activation of semiconductor minerals that contain transition metals (Fe, Cu, and Cr, among others). Thus, this paper provides theoretical support to move towards the future application of photoleaching, which consist of a leaching process assisted by UV, VIS, and NIR irradiation. This technology can be considered a promising mineral processing route, using direct photochemical solar energy that can reduce the energy consumption (electricity, fuels) and the environmental impact, opening an opportunity for an alternative method of metal extraction from sulfide ores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Copper Ore Processing and Extraction)
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