Arsenic Extraction from Dusts Produced in Copper Concentrate Roasting Plant by Alkaline Leaching

Additonal authors: Reghezza, A.. 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

Luna, F. Parada

In the pyrometallurgical processes of copper concentrates, arsenic is preferentially concentrated in the dusts carried by the gases as a result of their volatility and subsequent condensation in the gas cleaning train. In this work results obtained by alkaline leaching of the dusts from Ministro Hales roasting plant, belonging to Codelco, are presented. For the Ministro Hales plant the alkaline leaching would be an alternative to the recirculation of dusts to the roasting furnace. The experimental study considered NaOH and NaOH plus NaHS leaching of two samples of dusts, with 4.24 and 2.55% arsenic respectively. The results show that it is feasible to extract 90% of the arsenic and 50% of the antimony at room temperature using only NaOH, and when the temperature increases to 95ºC, the extractions of As and Sb increase. Copper remains in the solid residue with less than 1% dissolution, and the NaOH net consumption was approximately 140 kg/t of dust. In leaching tests with NaOH + NaHS, two types of methods were tested, baking plus leaching with water and direct leaching with a NaOH+NaHS solution. With the second method arsenic extraction increased to 95% and copper dissolution was less than 0.01% at 85ºC, NaOH 100 g/L, NaHS 90 g/L, 1.5 h and L/S ratio of 5/1 (L/kg). The bismuth remains stable in the solid in all cases. INTRODUCTION The presence of arsenic in copper concentrates has increased with time and the environmental regulations are becoming increasingly more stringent. In concentrate treatment pyrometallurgical plants, most of the arsenic is volatilized condensing in the gas train and is collected along with the entrained solids to form the flue dusts. Under these conditions, in smelters of copper concentrates with high arsenic content, the dusts are being treated in hydrometallurgical plants to extract and stabilize the arsenic, which also means that most of the copper contained in the dust is co-extracted with the arsenic. This affects the recovery of copper in the smelter and an alternative such as the selective alkaline leaching of arsenic, would allow the copper from flue dust to be recovered.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019