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A Mixed Kinetics Dump Leaching Model for Ores Containing a Variety of Copper Sulfide Minerals.
MISSING :44 pages
To help maintain an adequate supply of minerals to meet national economic and strategic needs, the Bureau of Mines developed a mathematical model that describes acidic ferric sulfate leaching of copper from sulfide ores. The leaching model can aid in maximizing minerals and metals recovery from primary sources by giving operators and management a better understanding of the copper leaching process. This will aid in improving dump leaching operations. The model is based on a steady-state approximation of the continuity equation for diffusion of ferric ions in the rock pores and the intrinsic leaching kinetics of the various sulfide mineral particles. Ore characteristics included in the model were ore particle-size distribution, particle shape, grade, mineral content, mineral particle size, porosity, and tortuosity. The continuity equation was used with ferric ion concentration gradients and a fixed value for the diffusion coefficient. Except for effective diffusivity, each of these factors was either measured experimentally or estimated from theoretical considerations. The effective diffusivities were determined by fitting calculated leaching curves with experimental leaching data. Vertical variations in leach solution composition and temperature within a dump are not considered in this model. The model accurately predicted copper extractions for several large-scale tests during nearly 500 days of leaching.
IH; Report of Investigation;
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division