Process Options for Copper and Gold Recovery from a Bulk Flotation Concentrate Containing Pyrite

Additonal authors: Hilário, F.. 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

Dreisinger, D.

The processing of a bulk concentrate containing copper as chalcocite, enargite, bornite and chalcopyrite along with pyrite and precious metals of silver and gold was studied. A leaching study was undertaken to examine the application of the atmospheric acid leaching process to a bulk copper concentrate for copper recovery followed by cyanidation or thiosulfate leaching for gold and silver recovery. The extraction of copper exceeded 90% under some conditions and the recovery of gold and silver reached a maximum of 44 and 45%, respectively. A sample of bulk concentrate was roasted in air to oxidize the sulfides with release of sulfur dioxide followed by acid leaching of the roaster calcine and cyanidation of the acid leach solution. The copper extraction reached over 92% and the gold extraction exceeded 88%. The sulfur dioxide may be captured for acid production. INTRODUCTION The processing of a large primary copper deposit in Indonesia is under investigation. One of the possible routes for processing involves flotation of a bulk copper-gold concentrate followed by treatment by an atmospheric leach/SX-EW process for copper recovery. The atmospheric leach residue would then be leached for recovery of gold and silver. A second route involves roasting of the concentrate followed by acid leaching and SX-EW for copper recovery. The leach residue from the roaster calcine would then be leached for recovery of gold and silver. The roaster off-gases could be used for sulfuric acid manufacture, enabling the production of a valuable by-product. The Cobre Las Cruces (CLC) process (Munoz, Garcia, & Delgado, 2017) was designed to treat a resource of copper discovered close to Seville, Spain. The process was developed by Outotec with MK Gold (original project owner). INMET Mining subsequently purchased the deposit from MK Gold and built the copper processing facility. The CLC process is similar to the Mt. Gordon Copper process; except that OKTOP reactors have been installed instead of a low temperature, low pressure autoclave process. The plant was designed to treat 1.3 mtpa of ore at a grade of 6.2% Cu to produce 72,000 tpa of cathode copper over a 15 year project life. The main gangue mineral at Cobre Las Cruces was pyrite. The Cobre Las Cruces ore is therefore similar to a rougher flotation concentrate containing copper minerals and pyrite. The roasting of a rougher flotation concentrate can be designed to produce hematite, basic copper oxides and sulfur dioxide off gas. The acid leaching of the basic copper oxides may produce soluble copper for SX-EW recovery of copper. The sulfur dioxide off-gas may be used to make sulfuric acid.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019