Complex Studies On Cu-Cake Leaching In Sulfuric-Acid Solutions

Additonal authors: Jafari, Shila. 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

Kritskii, Aleksei

A typical process adopted at nickel plant is the processing of nickel-copper mattes and converter mattes using the following technology: pressure oxidative leaching (POX), solvent extraction (SX), electrowinning (EW), cobalt recovery, and solutions purification. As a result of multi-stage atmospheric and autoclave process leaching, copper-nickel separation is achieved. Cobalt and nickel are further separated by SX. Copper in the process can be removed as copper cake (Cu-cake), which is a by-product with high content of valuable metals. In the current paper, a method combining atmospheric and pressure leaching of Cu-cake in sulfuric-acid media is discussed. Suggested method allows to obtain high copper extraction (>98%), with leach residue containing precious metals and PGMs. Sulfuric acid media was chosen to make the suggested technology adaptable for the primary POX-SX-EW circuit. The initial Cu-cake was analysed and a range of process parameters (t = 25–190°C; PO2 = 0–7 bar) investigated to achieve the optimal conditions for leaching process at the ambient as well as at increased pressure. As a result, an initial process block diagram for the treatment of Cu-cake with high copper leaching efficiency and low metal losses is provided. INTRODUCTION The conventional technology for nickel sulphide ore processing includes the following main stages: froth flotation, matte smelting and converting. The subsequent processing of nickel converter matte is possible using fundamentally different approaches - hydrometallurgical (Llanos, Queneau & Rickard, 1974; Rademan, Lorenzen & Van Deventer, 1999; Kshumaneva, Kasikov, Neradovskii & Belyaevskii, 2009; Dutrizac & Chen, 2013) and pyrometallurgical (Tsymbulov, Knyazev, Tsemekman & Golov, 2007). Hydrometallurgical approach in comparison with pyro-process has several advantages, such as reduced environmental load, reduced PGM losses, increased copper and nickel extraction. Typically, hydrometallurgical technologies include leaching, solvent extraction as well as nickel and cobalt recovery in metallic form by electrowinning or hydrogen reduction or as valuable metal salts via crystallization process (Crundwell, Moats, Ramachandran, Robinson & Davenport, 2011).
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019
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