Electrochemical aspects of sphalerite dissolution in the presence and absence of chalcopyrite

Rao, M. K. Yelloji ; Natarajan, K. A.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1990
The electrochemistry of sphalerite and chalcopyrite was investigated under both open-circuit and applied potential conditions. Emphasis was placed on the selective dissolution of sphalerite from a mixture of sphalerite-chalcopyrite flotation concentrates as a function of applied potential, acid concentration, pulp density, and time. Morphological studies using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) were also carried out with chemically leached, galvanically leached, and unleached surfaces of sphalerite and chalcopyrite. Selective dissoulution of sphalerite could be achieved if the mixed chalcopyrite-sphalerite concentrate slurry was maintained at a negative applied potential of -0.4V (SCE). Probable mechanisms involved in the selective dissolution of zinc are disscussed.
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