Selection of Smelting Process for High Cu/S Ratio Copper Concentrate

Additonal authors: Ye, Wei. 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

He, Feng

The purpose of the paper is to study the smelting process of copper concentrate with high Cu/S ratio produced in Africa or other areas around the world and theoretically analyze the influence of slag type on the smelting process. The paper has compared the processes used successfully in smelters, including CAPEX and OPEX and other factors, to provide reference for the industry to select the best process under specific conditions. INTRODUCTION At present, a great amount of copper concentrates with high Cu/S ratio, with chalcocite being the major source of copper, have been produced or are about to be produced in the Copperbelt in Africa and other countries in the world. The copper concentrate is usually high in copper (~30–55wt.%) and low in sulfur (~10–15wt.%). The conventional processes of smelting-converting and roasting-leaching-electro-winning for treating this type of concentrate is high energy and materials consumption such as electric power\fuels\flux et al. The direct-to-blister (one-step) smelting process can be considered favorable due to a reduction in processing steps. Up to now, there are four copper smelters in the world operating with the direct-to-blister smelting process. There certainly are problems in the process such as high copper content in the slag, strict operation requirement of slag cleaning electric furnace, etc. Except technical issues, the impact of factors on economical aspect such as power and material cost needs to be considered comprehensively in process selection. In this paper the technical issues of direct-to-blister smelting process, including slag treatment process, were analyzed and the comparison to the conventional processes and economic analysis of direct- to-blister smelting process to treat high Cu/S ratio concentrate were done.
Mots Clés: Copper 2019, COM2019