October 22, 2010

Copper Ore Processing

بِسمٍ الله الرَحْمنِ اللرَحِيْم

Copper Ore Processing

Indonesia has ore reserves of copper (Cu) is very large, mostly in the reserves with porphyry Cu content in the ore varied between 0.1 to 2%. In addition to Cu, usually ore assosiate  with other metals such as gold (Au), Silver (Ag) and rare metals such as Palladium (Pd), Selenium (Se) and others. Several types of copper ore that there is Bornite (Cu5FeS4), Calcopyrite (CuFeS2), Covellite (CUS) with some impurities such as pyrite (FeS2), Magnetite (Fe3O4), hematite (Fe2O3), or Quartz (SiO2). Caused mostly sulfide minerals will be more effective if the initial process is done is "Concentration" by using flotation and gravity, if indeed in many gold ores (Au) in the form of Native.

Froth Flotation is Physical Chemistry methode to separate achieve mineral and impurities by use the mineral interface difference. The mineral that is very easy to absord the water is called by Hydrofillic, and the other is Hydrofobic. The Hydrofillic particles will be in the pulp, and the others will be at the air bulb and flow to the atmospheric surface. Usually, we use the reagents to make the interface particles become hydrofillic or hydrofobic. The reagents that we use in flotation are: collector, frother and modifier such as activator, pH regulator, depresant dan dispersant. 

Froth Flotation for copper with a reagent Xanthate, other reagents can be used to take copper ore in particular, as examples of mercapto benzo Tyazone (MBT) is effective for taking Bornite and Calcopyrite. In general, the flotation process for copper ores is as follows

Gambar 1. Flotasi flowsheet Diagram

For companies that have a direct smelting process, the concentrate obtained can be melted directly, but for companies that do not have a smelting facility usually concentrates sold at the International and recovery (discount) market (subject to negotiation as well). There are several processes that exist in this world for the continuous smelting technology, one of which is the Mitsubishi Process in PT. Smelting Gresik. Other technologies is Flash Conventer and Flash Smelter of Outotek (Outocumpu). Whatever the technology used, but the plan is a process that is taken is the oxidation process

2CuS + 3O2 = 2CuO + 2SO2
CuO + Flux = Cu + Slag
SO2 + H2O + ½ O2 = H2SO4

Of course not only that the reaction occurs, many other minerals that react but the point remains the same. If viewed from a possible reaction occurs, then surely nothing is wasted from the process of smelting copper concentrates this. The gas produced can be captured to become sulfuric acid (H2SO4) for sale to fertilizer factories, which produced Slag cement can be mixed and sold to Cement Plant, Energy generated from the reaction exotherm was used for the power plant to meet the needs of further processing. It was the right PT. Established Smelting in Gresik, near the PT. Petrochemical and PT. Semen Gresik. Besides all that, there is also produced that have a content of Anode Slime Au, Ag and rare metals with high enough levels. So the differences existing technology is just about the resulting efficiency.
The following example process flow diagram which is owned by Outotek

Figure 2. Copper Smelting Process

Until now there is no processing of Anode Slime in Indonesia with Recovery> 99.2% so that the anode slime produced by PT. Smelting was currently still purified (sold) out of the country. There are several ways that can be used to retrieve Au, Ag and rare metals namely hidrometallurgical route and path Pyro-hidrometallurgycal . Hopefully in the future Indonesia has and can process from ore to pure metal is produced either Cu, Au, Ag, Pd, Se, etc.. The problem is there is not a technology problem because many Indonesian people who are good and experienced. The biggest problem is the power of funding and political Issue.

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1 comment:

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