A Comparative Study of Copper Recovery from Different Primary Copper-Sulfide Ores with JX Iodine Process

Additonal authors: Fukano, Yuken. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

Miura, Akira

JX Nippon Mining and Metals Corporation has developed the JX Iodine Process, which is an innovative and patented copper-leaching process for low-grade primary sulfide ores. This process consists of the irrigation of ferric iron and a low concentration of iodide solutions. One-meter column leaching tests were conducted on ore samples from two different mines. At the end of experiments, the total copper recovery exceeded 70% for Sample A and 50% for Sample B with the iodine method, which was significantly higher than that with conventional ferric leaching of 14% for Sample A and 20% for Sample B. To elucidate the reason for the JX Iodine Process effectiveness, cross sections of leached residues were studied. Reaction products were confirmed around chalcopyrite even in the central area of particles in Sample A, however, reaction products were recognized at a depth of only 1 mm from the ore rim in Sample The resistance of Sample A to the leachate appeared to be lower than that of Sample B because Sample A had a high permeability and porosity, whereas Sample B had been affected strongly by a potassium alteration. No reaction products were visible on conventional leaching samples, even at the ore surfaces. INTRODUCTION Hydrometallurgical copper leaching (heap leaching or dump leaching) has been used extensively for copper recovery from oxide and secondary-sulfide ores, but not for primary copper sulfides, which contain mainly chalcopyrite as copper minerals. Although they are major resources of copper, primary copper sulfides are difficult to process because of their refractory nature. Extensive leaching studies have been carried out to leach primary copper sulfides (chalcopyrite), including biological and chemical, using a variety of oxidants and additives to enhance copper recovery. Watling (2013) reviewed acid-chloride-oxidizing agents with chalcopyrite. Abdollahi et al. (2015) tested silver as a catalyst for bioleaching with a chalcopyrite-bearing molybdenite concentrate. Hiroyoshi, Miki, Hirajima and Tsunekawa (2000) found a specific redox-potential zone for high-speed chalcopyrite leaching by controlling the ratio of ferric and ferrous iron. However, no ambient-temperature economic process has been developed for leaching primary copper sulfide, which usually has a low copper grade.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019