ALTA 2016: Pressure oxidation process development for treating complex sulfide copper materials.

Proceedings of ALTA 2016 Nickel Cobalt Copper Session, 2016
Zaytsev, P. V, Pleshkov, M. A., Lapin, A. Y., & Shneerson, Y. M.

Natural deposits of copper sulfide ores are often characterized by the presence of valuable by-products, such as gold, silver, tin, zinc, nickel, cobalt and others. The effectiveness of these metals recovery in addition to copper is an important factor of successful commercial realization of a project.

The conventional method of copper sulfide feeds treatment includes beneficiation, smelting, electro-refining and subsequent recovery of precious metals from anode slimes. In this paper we highlighted the key disadvantages of this approach, including among others high capital cost and low efficiency of by-products recovery. The peculiarities of purely hydrometallurgical alternatives of processing are discussed and their practical implementation in pilot and commercial scale is reviewed. The pressure hydrometallurgical processing of complex copper material using three types of the sulfide feed as an example (copper-gold concentrates, copper-silver concentrate, and copper-tin tails) is studied. The results are shown and discussed. The relevant block flowsheets are proposed and compared.