Influence of chalcopyrite structure on their leaching by sodium nitrate in sulphuric acid
Keywords:chalcopyrite leaching, quantitative microscopic analysis, structural characteristics of mineral grains
During the chalcopyrite leaching by sodium nitrate and sulfuric acid solution, leaching rate decreases with increasing the time and a part of chalcopyrite mineral grains remains in the leach residue. In chalcopyrite concentrate, 95.5 % of chalcopyrite mineral occurs as in liberated grains, and the rest is in association with gangue minerals, which is very favorably from the aspect of hydrometallurgical treatment. Complex forms, like impregnations and complex intergrowths, do not exist. After experiments carried out, leaching of copper achieved 84 % at temperature 80 o C and time 240 min. In the all leach residues, 97 % chalcopyrite mineral grains occur as liberated with highly corroded surfaces. Therefore, the structural assembly of chalcopyrite grains is favorable and no reason to reduce the leaching rate in the final stage of reaction. Reason for this is elemental sulfur, which was formed during the reaction, precipitated at the particle surfaces, and slowed down the leaching rate in the final stage of leaching process.
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