International Scheme for Assessment of Arsenic Treatment Facilities

Additonal authors: Yamazaki, N.. 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

Nakamura, T.

The supply of clean copper ores, which have high copper concentration and low impurities like arsenic, has declined year by year. Therefore, both mine and smelter sides have to consider how to remove impurities like arsenic. We focus herein on arsenic as an impurity because it is an extremely important issue from the environmental point of view. Approximately 150,000 t of arsenic is input into the copper industry every year. A small part of it is mainly treated in the smelting side. For instance, Ministro Hales Limited, which is a mining corporation in Chile, has performed the calcination process to remove arsenic from ore with high-arsenic content. In the process, flue gas is washed by water, and the final residue is treated by a hydrometallurgical process. Many processes for arsenic removal in various stages have been proposed, and several bottlenecks exist to achieve it. One of the difficulties encountered is getting an assessment of the process, which depends on the countries and/or areas of operation. The standardization of the assessment procedure will be desired in the near future to keep the same environment standards all over the world, and now is the time to start making discussions on this matter. This will be the first step in making an international assessment procedure for arsenic treatment in the copper industry. INTRODUCTION Using the term “sustainable development” without any scientific basis can give people a false sense of security. Engineers and scientists must analyze the total mass flow of energy and materials and estimate local drain on the environment as well as the global impact of a particular industrial activity to ensure sustainability on this planet. The operations of the mining and smelting industries have a strong effect on the environment even if they provide useful materials for human beings. The copper mining and smelting industries have brought about serious environmental problems in the past. For example, the Ashio mine pollution caused big damage to the agricultural sector near the Ashio area in Japan in the late 19th century. One of the most serious problems at that time was SO2 emission because copper ore is sulfide, and the smelting process basically results to sulfur oxidation. The resource balance from a copper smelter in a year, assuming a total production of 16 million tons, can be summarized as follows: discarded minerals, 30 billion tons; sulfur, 16 million tons; iron oxide, 8 million tons; additional smaller amounts of other metals, electricity, and fuel.
Mots Clés: Copper 2019, COM2019
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