New process to remove fluorine from copper concentrates

Viana, A. ; Andrade, P. M. ; Neto, J. Duarte ; Pereira, G. S. P. ; Torres, V. M.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999
There are technical and commercial limitations to using high fluorine copper concentrates in industrial copper smelters. The presence of more than 1,000-ppm fluorine affects the sulfuric acid units generally integrated to copper smelters. Price penalties are normally applied to copper concentrates with high fluorine contents. Several process alternatives to resolve this issue were studied at the Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) Technology Center, Santa Luzia, Brazil. These alternatives included modifications to conventional sulfuric acid plants so that they can use high fluorine concentrates; removal of fluorine-containing minerals by flotation using depressants; selective leaching of fluorine minerals; and sulfuric acid leaching of the copper concentrates. As a result of this research, a hydro¬metallurgical process to remove fluorine and upgrade copper concentrates was developed by the CVRD.
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