Evaluation of Copper Losses Using Flow Patterns in the Cl-Furnace of the Mitsubishi Process

Additonal authors: Sakurai, H.. 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

Kato, M.

The Mitsubishi Continuous Copper Smelting/Converting Process employs an electric furnace (CL- furnace) for settling the slag/matte mixture formed in the smelting furnace. The conditions in the CL- furnace change its settling efficiency, resulting in high variability of copper losses in slag. Modifications of the operation and maintenance procedures for the CL-furnace have significantly and sustainably reduced the copper losses in Gresik smelter to below 0.7%. A series of flow patterns evaluation in the CL-furnace demonstrated how the chemical reactions and settling conditions of the CL-furnace has been improved by the new operating procedures. Settling mechanisms for the matte droplets in the CL-furnace is also discussed using image analysis of solidified slag. INTRODUCTION The Mitsubishi Continuous Copper Smelting/Converting Process employs an electric furnace (CL- furnace) for settling the slag/matte mixture formed in the smelting furnace. Since the top-blowing in the S- furnace agitates the molten bath strongly, matte droplets are dispersed over the slag phase when melts flow out of the S-furnace. Thus, the CL-furnace has an important role to settle and recover matte droplets efficiently. Since many papers have ascribed major part of copper losses to matte droplets suspended in slag (Tanaka 2007; Genevski et al., 2008; Starodub et al., 2016), flow patterns of slag in the CL-furnace can affect greatly on the profitability of smelters which have adopted the Mitsubishi process. PROCESS DESCRIPTION Figure 1 illustrates the Mitsubishi process schematically. The Mitsubishi process is the only system for continuous production of blister copper from copper concentrates and consists of 3 furnaces connected by enclosed launders those ensure the minimum emission of fugitives. In a smelting furnace (S-furnace) copper concentrates are fed with flux, oxygen-enriched air to form a mixture of slag and matte which cascades down to a slag-cleaning furnace (CL-furnace). The CL-furnace settle matte droplets in the mixture on the crucible from which matte is siphoned to a converting furnace (C-furnace), while discharging the cleaned slag (CL-slag). The C-furnace converts matte to blister copper by the top-blowing of oxygen- enriched air.
Mots Clés: Copper 2019, COM2019
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