The Pretreatment and Leaching of Chalcopyrite

CIM Bulletin, 1968

I. H. WARREN, Associate Professor, Department of Metallurgy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C; A. VIZSOLYI, Research Chemist, Sherritt Gordon Mines Ltd., Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta; F. A. FORWARD, Forward Engineers Ltd., Vancouver, B.C.

Observations are reported on the pressure leaching of material produced by subjecting chalcopyrite to two types of heat treatment. Calcination of the mineral at 825°C, in the absence of oxygen, induces some sulphur loss by volatization, producing a material from which copper can be leached more rapidly than from chalcopyrite. Treatment of the mineral with elemental sulphur at 475°C leads to sulphur uptake accompanied by a change in mineralogical structure of the chalcopyrite. Copper is preferentially and rapidly leached from the sulphur-treated material. A tentative explanation of the sulphur-chalcopyrite reaction is presented.
Keywords: Chalcopyrite, copper, copper, Elemental Sulphur, hrs) Figure 5.-Calcined Chalcopyrite, X-ray diffraction, leaching, Materials, mineral, minerals, sulphur