The Treatment of Complex Zinc-Lead-Copper Ores in the Imperial Smelting Process

CIM Bulletin, 1971

D. A. TEMPLE, Director and Chief Metallurgist, Imperial Smelting Processes Ltd., Avonmouth, U.K;  G. O. JOHN, now with R.T.Z. Aluminum Ltd., Bristol, U.K.

Until recently, the approach to the problem of treating complex ores bas been to produce, insofar as is possible, mono-metal concentrates which are treated in traditional zinc, lead and copper smelting circuits, with the residues and by-products from sorne of these circuits being retreated for the recovery of contained values either by a separate residue treatment process or along with the primary feed to the appropriate circuit. The continued development of the Imperial Smelting Process, with its ability to treat poly-metal concentrates, calls for a re-examination of the traditional approach to this problem, and this the paper attempts to do. A survey of recent progress in the technical development of the process is made and a summary of current operational performance is included.
Keywords: blast furnace, Copper in Sinter, gangue, Zinc Lead Slab Zinc Bullion, copper, Furnaces, Lead, Production, Sinter, Slag, Slags, zinc