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Ural School of Hydrometallurgy
ArticleName Pressure oxidation leaching of the chalcopyrite concentrate from Mikheevsky Mining and Processing Plant in sulphuric acid media
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2019.08.02
ArticleAuthor Kritskii A. V., Naboychenko S. S.

Ural Federal University named after the First President of the Russian Federation B. N. Eltsin (UrFU), Institute of New Materials and Technologies, Department of Non-Ferrous Metallurgy, Ekaterinburg, Russia:

A. V. Kritskii, Postgraduate Student, Engineer, Assistant Lecturer at the Department of Non-Ferrous Metallurgy, e-mail:
S. S. Naboychenko, Visiting Professor at the Department of Non-Ferrous Metallurgy


Due to the reduction in sulfide massive ores reserves in the Urals region, a volume of disseminated ores production is increasing, in particular at the Mikheevsky Mining and Processing Plant (South Urals). Froth flotation of copper-porphyry ores at the Mikheevsky enrichment plant allows to obtain chalcopyrite concentrates of the following chemical composition, %: 21.5 Cu, 24.5 Fe, 26.5 S, 0.4 Pb, 17.6 SiO2, 1.85 CaO, 5–7 Au (ppm), 12–16 Ag (ppm). Current technology of the concentrate processing includes autogenous smelting, matte desulfurization and blister copper refining. Operating technology is characterized by well-known disadvantages. Alternative method for the processing of concentrates using oxidative autoclave leaching (POX) was investigated. POX process was studied in the following interval of technological parameters: t = 150–220 oC, pO2 = 2–6 bar, [H2SO4] = 10–60 g/l. Graphical and mathematical description of the process was created. Autoclave leaching of chalcopyrite concentrate at proposed parameters (t = 190 oC; pO2 = 5 bar; [H2SO4] = 10–20 g/l;  = 120 min) allows to achieve copper extraction at the level of 98.5%. A comparison of POX kinetics at the recommended parameters and total oxidation conditions is given. At elevated temperatures (220 oC) the duration of the POX is reduced from 120 to 90 min, while the Fe2+ ions are more complete oxidized to Fe3+ ions, which are quantitatively hydrolyzed, reducing the total iron content in solution. A double-stage POX allowed to obtain copper-rich solutions (up to 70 g/l), however, this increased the final concentration of iron in solution and the final acidity of the solution. Most of the zinc and nickel, 60–70% magnesium, 30–40% calcium and 30–40% aluminum were extracted into the solution; precious metals in the solution were not detected; most of the arsenic remains in the cake. Mass loss of the cake was 37–44%; the cake contains, %: not more than 0.5 Cu, up to 40 Fe, 25–35 SiO2, 5–7 S. The choice of its utilization method requires targeted research.
This research was funded by the Government of the Russian Federation following Decree No. 211, Contract No. 02.A03.21.0006.

keywords Chalcopyrite concentrate, pressure leaching, sulphuric acid, cake, extraction, optimization, precious metals

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