Arsenic Challenge and Control in Zijin Copper Smelter

Additonal authors: Zhong, S.P.. 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

Wang, Q.K.

With depletion of traditional clean copper reserves and fast expansion of the global copper demand and smelting capacity in the past decade, more and more copper smelters have to treat copper concentrate with increasing content of complex arsenic-bearing minerals. Developing economically viable and environmentally reliable methods and approaches for arsenic control in copper smelting has become more critical for sustainable growth of the copper industry. This paper will report the recent effort of Zijin Mining Group Ltd. in developing processes for improving arsenic control and management in the Zijin Copper Smelter. The arsenic distribution and balance data for matte smelting, converting and refining operations in Zijin Copper Smelter is reviewed for understanding of the current challenges in arsenic control. The processes developed for treating the arsenic bearing waste acid bleed stream from the smelting-converting off-gases wet cleaning circuit and the arsenic sludge produced in the refining electrolyte purification circuit for arsenic disposal are discussed. INTRODUCTION With fast expansion of the global copper smelting capacity to meet the world copper demand and depletion of traditional clean copper reserves, more and more copper smelters have to treat copper concentrate with an increasing content of complex arsenic-bearing minerals. China is the world largest copper consumer and also has the largest copper smelting and refining capacity, but majority of its smelting capacity relies on supply of imported copper concentrate. In order to meet the increasing copper demand and ease the tight supply of clean copper concentrate, the Chinese copper industry has to look at the domestic opportunity of developing non-traditional copper resources, specifically those of lower grades, more complex mineralogy, and increasing level of deleterious elements especially arsenic and also process imported copper concentrate with increased arsenic content. Due to a significant and growing environmental issue associated with arsenic contamination, developing economically viable and environmentally reliable methods and approaches for arsenic management and control in unlocking the maximum value of such arsenic bearing copper resources has become more critical for sustainable growth of the industry.
Mots Clés: Copper 2019, COM2019
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