Alkaline sulphide leaching of tennantite in copper flotation concentrates to selectively dissolve arsenic

Cuevas S, Jacqueline; Bruckard, Warren John

Keywords: tennantite, copper concentrates, alkaline sulphide leaching, arsenic dissolution


High-arsenic copper flotation concentrates, in which the major arsenic-bearing mineral was tennantite, were leached with an alkaline sulphide system. At a pulp density of 5 wt% solids with 100–150 g/L Na2S and 50 g/L NaOH, over 91 wt% As was dissolved within 2 h at 100°C. From concentrates containing 3.4–4.9 wt% As, leach residues containing <0.5 wt% As were obtained making them suitable as a smelter feed without a penalty for arsenic. Copper dissolution ranged from 16 to 22 wt% Cu, with significant amounts of calcium, iron and sulphur also dissolved. In a leach at 34.0 wt% solids, excellent arsenic extraction was obtained (97.9 wt% As), but the levels of copper, calcium, and iron dissolution were 0.5, 1.1, and 0.2 wt%, respectively, meaning excellent selectivity for arsenic. X-ray diffraction and electron probe microanalyses indicated the mechanism for arsenic dissolution from tennantite, and bornite abundance in the residue.

Más información

Título de la Revista: Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy
Fecha de publicación: 2021
Idioma: Inglés