NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Percolation Leaching of a Chalcopyrite-Bearing Ore At Ambient and Elevated Temperatures With Bacteria.

Madsen BW; Groves RD
MISSING :14 pages
The Bureau of Mines conducted a large-scale (6.4 T), long-term (2,165 days) test to gain a better understanding of the leaching characteristics of chalcopyritic ores. An ore sample containing 0.77 pct cu was leached in a fiberglass column by downward percolation of acidified ferric sulfate solutions. Three sets of leaching conditions were investigated: (1) ambient temperature leaching, (2) elevated temperature (50 deg to 60 deg c) leaching, and (3) elevated temperature leaching after inoculation with thermophilic bacteria. Leaching at ambient temperature resulted in a copper extraction rate of 0.44 pct per 100 days. Increasing the temperature to 50 deg to 60 deg c resulted in decreased activity of natural mesophilic bacteria, and the leaching rate decreased to 0.22 pct per 100 days. The ph was lowered from 2.0 to 1.6, and nutrient solutions that contained thermophilic bacteria were added. This procedure resulted in an increase in the ferric-to-ferrous iron ratio and an increase in the copper leaching rate. However, the increased leaching rate was not sustained, and 120 days after inoculation, the bacterial activity declined, the ferrous iron content increased, and the copper leaching rate decreased.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigations
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
RI 8827
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Page last reviewed: November 12, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division