Production of Copper By A Pressure Leaching, Precipitation, Electrowinning Process

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 797, 1978

K. N. Subramanian, A. J. Oliver, J. A. Thomas and E. Krause, J. Roy Gordon Research Laboratory, Inco Metals Company, Sheridan Park, Mississauga, Ont.

Previously reported work on total oxidative leaching of chalcopyrite concentrates has shown that high copper extractions are obtained at 210°C and 0.4 MPa oxygen pressure. A simple integrated flowsheet using pressure leaching, solution treatment involving precipitation with a calcium base, and electrowinning to produce wire-bar-quality copper is described. Reagent and energy requirements developed from this work indicate that the process could be attractive for small operations where a smelting-refining complex cannot be justified.
Keywords: Hydrometallurgy, Copper processing, Leaching, Pressure leaching, Precipitation, Electrowinning, Oxidative leaching, Chlorination, Extractive metallurgy.