Direct Pressure Leaching of Australian Zinc Concentrates
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1989
The Sherritt Zinc Pressure Leaching Process is based upon the direct pressure leaching of zinc sulphide or lead-zinc bulk sulphide concentrates to produce zinc sulphate in solution and elemental sulphur in the leach residues. The zinc sulphate solution is compatible with conventional purification and electrowinning technology. The pressure leach residues can be treated for the recovery of elemental sulphur, lead and silver. With the conversion of sulphur to the elemental form, zinc pressure leaching allows zinc winning to be independent of sulphuric acid production. Direct pressure leaching of zinc sulphide concentrates was started commercially in October 1980. Continuing research and development studies have defined various pressure leaching configurations for integration with existing roast-leach operations, for grass roots plants, or for plants which are to have the roast-leach section completely replaced. These studies have included the treatment of zinc concentrates from various Australian producers and the development of process flowsheets for potential applications in Australia.