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New Copper Hydrometallurgy Practices and Processes.

McKinney WA; Groves RD
Cento Symp on Mng Methods Benefic & Smelt of Copper Ores Turkey 10/24-27/77 PP 142-168 :142-168
Recent practices and proposed techniques in the United States for the hydrometallurgical treatment of copper ores, flotation concentrates, waste materials, and leach solutions are discussed. Examples of new developments and trends in U.S. copper processing practices are (1) solvent extraction-electrowinning to replace iron cementation as a means of recovering marketable copper directly from dilute acid leach liquors; (2) agitation leaching of high-lime oxide ores to extract copper from this heretofore refractory material while also consuming acid produced in greatly increased quantities at copper smelters because of stricter air pollution regulations; and (3) leaching of flotation mill tailings to recover oxide copper lost during conventional sulfide flotation and, at the same time, to consume acid from smelter air pollution control plants. This Bureau of Mines report also describes and discusses a variety of new or proposed copper hydrometallurgy techniques, some of which are in commercial operation or are being tested in commercial-scale demonstration plants. They are (1) roast-leaching of copper sulfide flotation concentrates as an alternative to smelting; (2) other alternatives to smelting employing total hydrometallurgical processing of copper sulfide concentrates; (3) in situ leaching of fractured, near-surface oxide or sulfide copper ores; and (4) fine flotation-coarse fraction leaching of copper-bearing mine waste to improve copper extraction over that obtained by conventional dump or heap leaching.
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 21-79
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Cento Symp. on Mng. Methods, Benefic. & Smelt. of Copper Ores, Turkey, 10/24-27/77, PP. 142-168
Page last reviewed: December 17, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division