Fundamental Analysis for an Improved Multi Metal Recovery by Combining Copper and Lead Metallurgy

Additonal authors: Flores, Gerardo R. F. Alvear. 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

Zschiesche, Christoph

Synergies between copper and lead extractive metallurgical processes enable the processing of a broad range of polymetallic materials. However, this complexity also brings some challenges expressed in terms of complex intermediates and final products. For instance, based on the limited solubility of Cu and Ni in crude lead bullion additional phases will appear during the crystallization of the melt. Beyond the need for continuous optimization of metallurgy the control of phase solidification is a further important pillar to achieve a more efficient process by minimizing the amount and cycles of reverts. This paper describes the microscopy study of one of the most relevant intermediate in the Cu and Pb metallurgy, the Cu based alloy and highlights the importance of applying a well-controlled cooling sequence to improve the overall process efficiency. INTRODUCTION One of the key aspects in Aurubis’s 2025 vision is to move towards the implementation of a multi metal recovery strategy. The implementation of this new multi metal vision is supported by the long tradition of the company, founded in 1866 as Norddeutsche Affinerie, and further developed by adopting modern copper smelting and lead smelting technologies for the processing of primary and secondary materials. The combination of these assets have already build the basis for processing of complex materials in the copper and lead circuits implemented in Aurubis’s facilities. The addition of a new smelting facility, will enhance these capabilities. Aurubis current flowsheet combines Cu, Pb and Zn metallurgy. This includes primary smelting of copper concentrate, processing of secondaries (residues, slimes, slags) and recycling materials (scrap, shredder material, e-scrap). These broad range of materials contain not only the mentioned base metals but also a number of minor metals that requires to be properly managed to ensure efficient recoveries and quality of the targeted metals.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019