Application of Polymer to Control Fluid Flow in in situ Leaching

Hiskey, J. Brent ; Bhappu, R. B. ; Johnson, R. E. ; Öner, Gürses ; Palmer, B. R. ; Topkaya, Y.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 16
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1993
Currently there is considerable interest in applying in situ leaching technology to recover copper from oxide ores. In many instances, the distribution of copper mineralization in these deposits is fracture controlled. Laboratory core-leaching experiments have demonstrated that leaching response is sensitive to the dissolution of copper from and the formation of channels along main fractures. Solution short- circuiting can be a major limitation of this technology. This paper describes the application of macromolecular polymers to achieve flow-profile control during leaching. Pre- and post-leached fractures were characterized by computerized tomography (CT) analysis.
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