Hydrometallurgical processing of mining-impacted soils: A preliminary study to recover copper salts by leaching with seawater and crystallization

Cortés, Sonia; De Aretxabala X.; Leon J.; Maluenda F.; Roa I.; Wong-Pinto, Liey-Si; Ordonez, Javier I.

Keywords: crystallization, leaching, tailings, contaminated soils


Mining is an activity that, along with providing essential materials for the development of humanity, produces pollution through the massive generation of mining waste and prolonged spills carried out in times when environmental control and protection were minimal. One of the ways to promote strategies for the valorization of mining-impacted soils is through the commercial impulses that exist behind it. For example, obtaining valuable materials with low treatment costs is highly desired compared to massive remediation tasks. Thus, this work focuses on obtaining copper salts with commercialization potential from mining-contaminated soils. The approach was addressed in two steps: by leaching and crystallization. The soil was leached with seawater at different conditions of pH, solid/liquid ratio, and number of recycling stages, achieving recoveries exceeding 70%. Crystallization was carried out under ambient conditions for water evaporation, obtaining crystals of copper chloride with high concentration. In this study, the obtained copper salts have a market, and the process resulted in a significant diminution of metal concentration in soils, becoming a remediation strategy that can be evaluated in larger scale.

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Título de la Revista: HYDROMETALLURGY
Volumen: 225
Editorial: Elsevier
Fecha de publicación: 2024
Idioma: Inglés