Processing Of Konkola Copper Concentrates And Chingola Refractory Ore In A Fully Integrated Hydrometallurgical Pilot Plant Circuit
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 2001
The Konkola Deep Mining Project (KDMP) seeks to exploit the deep level potential of the Konkola Deeps orebody, producing high grade copper concentrates for treatment at the Nkana Smelter and Refinery. As an alternative to smelting, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has examined a processing route involving pressure leaching of the Konkola concentrates at Nchanga, with the leach liquor being treated by solvent extraction and electrowinning to produce high purity copper cathode. The solvent extraction circuit would be operated to achieve a high ?delta? copper, thereby providing a strong acid raffinate which can be used in the existing Tailings Leach Plant (TLP) to treat Nchanga oxide copper materials. The main focus of the hydrometallurgical option is to capitalize upon the synergy that exists between the treatment of sulphide copper concentrates (acid producing) and oxide copper ores (acid consuming). The paper discusses the key features of a comprehensive piloting campaign carried out at Anglo American Research Laboratories, which involved the co-treatment of Konkola copper concentrates and Chingola refractory ore in a fully integrated pilot plant circuit.