The treatment of copper ores, both oxides and sulfides by means of flotation, hydrometallurgy or other processes has been well established for many years. Flotation has been applied generally to the treatment of sulfide ores, both in small and large scale operations.
Hydrometallurgical methods alone or in combination with flotation have mainly been applied to large tonnage operations to recover copper from low grade native copper, oxidized, or mixed oxide and sulfide ores that are not readily concentrated by flotation alone or by other means, either due to treatment costs or low recovery. The treatment of smaller tonnages of such ores by hydrometallurgy has not been widely employed due to high capital plant costs.
Acid Leaching Process Flowsheet
The method of dissolution by sulfuric acid and ferric sulfate with chemical precipitation by means of scrap or sponge iron appears to offer the best potential for wide application and low costs. Its basic chemistry is not complex but its economic application is dependent on handling of materials and solutions by such procedures to insure low operating costs.
The flowsheet discussed in this study is for treatment of 100 tons per day oxide-sulfide copper ore by the leaching process using sulfuric acid-ferric sulfate solvent. This flowsheet ….Read more