An Agglomerate Scale Model For The Heap Bioleaching Of Chalcocite
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 2006
A mathematical model for bioleaching at the agglomerate scale is developed. The agglomerate is defined as a unit volume of a heap which contains a solid phase (a size distribution of ore particles), a liquid phase (stagnant and flowing leaching solution) and a gas phase (flowing air and air pockets). Leaching at the level of an ore particle is modelled using a diffusion-reaction equation, and oxidation by attached and detached microbes is treated separately. With the aid of the mathematical model, the effect of particle size distribution on the bioleaching of an ore containing a mixture of chalcocite and pyrite, and a culture of iron oxidizers, is investigated.