A synergistic hydro- and pyro-metallurgical process for low-energy copper production

Hawker, William, Vaughan, James, Hayes, Peter, Jak, Evgueni, Keating, Tony and Hourn, Mike (2014). A synergistic hydro- and pyro-metallurgical process for low-energy copper production. In: Alan Taylor, Proceedings of ALTA 2014 Nickel-Cobalt-Copper Sessions. ALTA 2014: Nickel-Cobalt-Copper Conference, Perth, WA, Australia, (365-384). 24-31 May, 2014.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Hawker, William
Vaughan, James
Hayes, Peter
Jak, Evgueni
Keating, Tony
Hourn, Mike
Title of paper A synergistic hydro- and pyro-metallurgical process for low-energy copper production
Conference name ALTA 2014: Nickel-Cobalt-Copper Conference
Conference location Perth, WA, Australia
Conference dates 24-31 May, 2014
Proceedings title Proceedings of ALTA 2014 Nickel-Cobalt-Copper Sessions
Place of Publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher ALTA Metallurgical Services Publications
Publication Year 2014
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 9780987126290
Editor Alan Taylor
Start page 365
End page 384
Total pages 20
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
The demand for copper continues to rise with the increased standards of living enjoyed by the world’s growing population. At the same time, we are faced with decreasing ore grades, increasing ore body complexity, cost of electrical energy, and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, it is becoming more important to accommodate these challenging ores, including both low grade sulphides and oxides, in an efficient manner.

In this paper, a new low-energy process route for copper production that utilises synergies between hydro- and pyro-metallurgical processes is proposed. The process involves precipitating copper from a leach solution by pH adjustment. The controlled precipitation step separates copper from impurity elements and concentrates it in a solid phase. The precipitate is then added to a copper smelter or converter to supplement the standard sulphide feed. The individual processing steps and select potential applications of the process are described. Process mass and energy balancing indicates that by using this supplementary feed, copper production through a copper converter could be increased by up to 34% using existing excess energy.
Keyword Copper
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Chemical Engineering Publications
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Created: Mon, 11 Aug 2014, 16:50:26 EST by Dr James Vaughan on behalf of School of Chemical Engineering