Recovery of Copper Metal through Reprocessing of Residues from a Hydrometallurgical Plant: An Advance Study

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Recovery of Copper Metal through Reprocessing of Residues from a Hydrometallurgical Plant: An Advance Study

June 1, 2021 Engineering 0

CHEMAF (Chemical of Africa) is a hydrometallurgical factory that was built in 2001. It makes copper (Cu) cathodes and cobalt (Co) salts by leaching Cu-Co oxidized ores in sulphuric acid under reducing conditions (Na2S2O5 or SO2), purifying the leach liquor with solvent extraction (SX), electrowinning copper, and precipitating Co as hydroxides. The leach liquor is recovered by thickening pulps from the ores leaching section and washing the leaching residues inside countercurrent decanters to deplete precious metals (CCD). Cu production’s hydrometallurgical wastes were once dumped near the plant. Due to changes in the mineralogy of the Kalukuluku deposit, the amount of sulphide minerals in run-of-mine (ROM) ores has increased, and the storage of solid wastes may result in harmful pollutant release into the environment, The best management option for solid residues is to reprocess them. The current study uses a procedure based on sulphuric acid leaching followed by Cu metal recovery using cementation with iron shavings to recover Cu metal retained in hydrometallurgical solid residues (2.01 percent Cu and 0.32 percent Co). After conducting tests, it was discovered that the Cu leaching (90 percent) and When 150 g of solid residues were agitated at 500 rpm for 90 minutes (at 75°C) in 1 L of an acid solution (H2SO4: 30 g/L) under reducing conditions (Na2S2O5) and the pulp’s redox potential was kept at 330 mV, Co (86%) was obtained. When 1 g of iron shavings was stirred for 60 minutes at room temperature and constant speed (400 rpm) in 250 mL of a metalliferous solution (10.84 g/L Cu and 1.73 g/L Co) prepared through the leaching of solid residues, copper was recovered as metal (2.5 g of solids assaying 93 percent Cu recovered at 86 percent).

Author (s) Details

L. M. Shengo
Inorganic Chemistry Unit, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of the Sciences, University of Lubumbashi, P.O. Box 1825, Likasi Avenue, Haut-Katanga Region, The Democratic Republic of Congo.

B. K. Kitungwa
Inorganic Chemistry Unit, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of the Sciences, University of Lubumbashi, P.O. Box 1825, Likasi Avenue, Haut-Katanga Region, The Democratic Republic of Congo.

C. W. N. Mutiti
Inorganic Chemistry Unit, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of the Sciences, University of Lubumbashi, P.O. Box 1825, Likasi Avenue, Haut-Katanga Region, The Democratic Republic of Congo.

J. L. M. Mulumba
The Applied Geophysics Unit, Department of Geology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lubumbashi, P.O. Box 1825, Kasapa Road, Katanga Province (DRC), Haut-Katanga Region, Democratic Republic of Congo.

F. P. Ilunga
Inorganic Chemistry Unit, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of the Sciences, University of Lubumbashi, P.O. Box 1825, Likasi Avenue, Haut-Katanga Region, The Democratic Republic of Congo.

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