The Effect of Mineralogy on the Leaching Characteristics of BHAS Copper-Lead Matte

Pollard D M,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1989
The BHAS copper-lead matte leach process, developed in Port Pirie, South Australia, has been in operation on a commercial scale since 1984. This process is one of many developed in the past decade to recover copper via the hydrometallurgical route. In essence, the process involves a single stage agitative leach of 100% -75um matte in an acid chloride-sulphate lixiviant with gaseous oxygen as oxidant. The leach temperature is controlled at 85¦C to assist with reaction kinetics. After leaching, divalent copper is recovered from solution via a conventional solvent extraction/electrowinning circuit to yield cathode copper for sale The BHAS matte leach process has several unique characteristics cf. other commercial oxidative acid leach processes. These include i) the use of gaseous 02 as oxidant ii) H2SO4 addition as make up acid iii) Relatively low chloride ion addition (30 g/1) For this reason, extensive work was carried out into the optimization of leaching by Meadows (1985). Variables investigated included ò Oxygen flow-rate ò Agitation intensity ò Leach temperature ò Free acidity ò Chloride ion concentration ò Matte particle size The current work was conducted to determine the effect of cooling rate, and hence mineralogy, on the leaching characteristics.
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