The inspiration for this book came from Professor Ed Asselin and the desire to disseminate expert knowledge and insights from experienced professionals in the field of copper hydrometallurgy. Examples of recognizing and effectively meeting challenges and applying established and front-line knowledge and practical insights are provided in this book. The hope is that practitioners in the field will find the material in this book to be practically useful. If the reader could sit down with the authors of this book and "talk shop", this is the kind of material that would likely inform those conversations.
The book begins with an overview of the thermodynamics of leaching. Choosing thermodynamic data wisely is considered and then how to make use of those data to gain a sense of what is possible. Arguably, the key step in hydrometallurgy is leaching. The next four chapters deal with leaching in detail, including kinetics, heap leaching, concentrate leaching, and bioleaching. Solvent extraction for the most part follows leaching in practice and is developed next with a focus on practical considerations. Metal production by electrowinning and purification by electrorefining follow in the next chapter, which focuses on practical aspects and reviews state-of-the-art developments. Finally, applications of ion exchange are considered as versatile means to solve several purification problems in copper hydrometallurgy.