Recovery of Cobalt and Copper From Complex Sulfide Concentrates
Description:The Bureau of Mines conducted laboratory investigations with the objective of developing an alternative process for recovering cobalt and copper from complex sulfide concentrates. Processes currently used depend largely upon precipitation techniques to remove impurities and recover cobalt from sulfate liquors prepared by oxidative pressure leaching of the sulfide concentrates. The Bureau conducted bench-scale research on a process for treating cobaltite concentrates, comprising (1) oxidative pressure leaching, (2) jarosite precipitation followed by H202 oxidation and pH control to remove iron and arsenic, (3) copper solvent extraction with a mixed hydroxyoxime-amine extractant, (4) copper electrowinning from recirculating acidic strip liquor, (5) selective cobalt extraction from copper solvent extraction raffinate with a phosphinic acid extractant, and (6) electrowinning of cobalt from a recirculating weak acid strip liquor. Overall cobalt and copper recoveries were 91.7 and 84.1 pct, respectively. Electrowon products assayed 99.8 pct Co and 99.89 pct Cu.
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