Effect of curing time on copper leaching from chalcopyrite

Quezada, V. Roca, A. Benavente, O. Cruelss, M.

Keywords: Chalcopyrite, Chloride, Copper, Curing time, Leaching


The leaching pretreatment of copper ores is widely used in the Chilean mining industry. Agglomeration and acid curing have been identified as the most useful pretreatments. Of these, acid curing was recognized as beneficial in the dissolution of copper minerals, even in sulphides such as chalcopyrite. Extensive acid curing times have an impact on copper extraction, generate a homogeneous acid distribution in the mineral bed and benefit the inhibition of aluminum-silicate minerals (acid consumers). This document describes some of the theoretical background and results regarding the effect of acid curing in a chalcopyrite sample with 74% purity according to Qemscan analysis and a 28.5% of total copper. Leaching tests are carried out at 25, 50 and 70°C, evaluating the effect of a pretreatment on the chalcopyrite dissolution. The original sample and products generated were characterized by X-ray diffraction analysis and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The performed experiments indicate a direct relation between the effect of curing time and temperature in copper extraction. 92% of copper can be extracted in a leaching at 70°C and with 15 days of curing. Elemental sulfur, jarosite and copper polysulfide (CuS2) have been detected in leaching products.

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Fecha de publicación: 2019
Año de Inicio/Término: 18-21 de agosto de 2019
Página de inicio: 1
Página final: 11
Idioma: Inglés
Financiamiento/Sponsor: Universidad Católica del Norte y Universidad de Barcelona