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Hydrometallurgy MINE 292 Introduction to Mineral Processing Lecture 21 John A Meech.

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Presentation on theme: "Hydrometallurgy MINE 292 Introduction to Mineral Processing Lecture 21 John A Meech."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hydrometallurgy MINE 292 Introduction to Mineral Processing Lecture 21 John A Meech

2 Hydrometallurgical Processing 1.Comminution (Grinding) 2.Leaching Metal (Quantity - %Recovery) 3.Removal of Metal from Pulp a. Solid/Liquid Separation - CCD thickeners - Staged-washing filtration b. Adsorption (Carbon-in-Pulp and/or Resin-in-Pulp) (CIP/RIP or CIL/RIL) - granular carbon or coarse resin beads

3 Hydrometallurgical Processing 4.Purification (Quality - g/L and removing other ions) - Clarification and Deaeration (vacuum) - Precipitation (Gold: Zn or Al dust) (Copper: H 2 S or scrap Fe or lime) (Uranium: yellow cake) (Zinc: lime) - Solvent Extraction (adsorption into organic liquid) - Ion Exchange (resin elution columns) - Elution (contact carbon or resin with an electrolyte)

4 Hydrometallurgical Processing 5.Electrowinning or Precipitation followed by Smelting

5 Hydrometallurgical Processing

6 Classifier

7 Hydrometallurgical Processing Feed Grade = 5 g Au/t Ore %Recovery during Grinding= 60% >>> solids content = 2.00 g/t %Recovery during Leaching= 35% >>> solids content = 0.25 g/t %Recovery during CCD= 0% %Recovery Total = 95% Underflow Densities = 50%solids Leach Density = 40% solids Classifier O/F Density = 40%solids Pregnant Solution Flowrate= 300% Barren Bleed Flowrate= 25% Gold in Barren Solution = 0.05 g/t Calculate the gold content of the Pregnant Solution and the U/F water from each thickener. What is the actual mill recovery? What difference would occur if fresh solution was added to Thickener E rather than Thickener B?

8 Metal Recovery by Dissolution Primary extraction from ores Used with ores that can't be treated physically Secondary extraction from concentrates Used with ores that can be beneficiated to a low-grade level

9 Applied to – Copper (both acid and alkali) CuO + H 2 SO 4 CuSO 4 + H 2 O Cu +2 + 4NH 4 OH Cu(NH 3 ) 4 +2 + 4H 2 O – Zinc (acid) ZnO + H 2 SO 4 ZnSO 4 + H 2 O – Nickel (acid and alkali) – Nickel Laterite Ores NiO + H 2 SO 4 NiSO 4 + H 2 O NiO + 6NH 4 OH Ni(NH 3 ) 6 2+ + H 2 O Metal Recovery by Dissolution

10 Ammonia Leaching of Malachite NH 4 Cl NH 4 + + Cl – (1) NH 4 + + H 2 O H 3 O + + NH 3 (2) CuCO 3 ·Cu(OH) 2 + 2H 3 O + Cu 2+ + CO 2 + 3H 2 O + Cu(OH) 2 (3) Cu(OH) 2 + 2H 3 O + Cu 2+ + 2H 2 O (4) Overall Leaching Reaction CuCO 3 ·Cu(OH) 2 + 4 NH 4 Cl 2Cu 2+ + 4Cl – + CO 2 +3H 2 O +4NH 3 (5) Formation of complex amine ions Cu 2+ + 2NH 3 Cu(NH 3 ) 2 2+ (6) Cu(NH 3 ) 2 2+ + 2NH 3 Cu(NH 3 ) 4 2+ (7)

11 Zinc Roasting/Leaching/Electowinning

12 Nickel Lateritic Ores acid heap leaching method similar to copper H 2 SO 4 much higher than for copper (1,000 kg/t) patented by BHP Billiton being commercialized by – Cerro Matoso S.A. in Columbia – Vale in Brazil – European Nickel Plc in Turkey, Balkans, Philippines

13 Metal Recovery by Dissolution Applied to – Aluminum (alkali) Al 2 O 3 + 3H 2 O + 2NaOH 2NaAl(OH) 4 – Gold and Silver (cyanidation / alkali) – Uranium (acid and alkali)

14 Alumina Leaching

15 Aluminum Smelting Fused Salt Electrolysis – Hall-Herault Process

16 Aluminum Smelting Fused Salt Electrolysis – Hall-Herault Process

17 Uranium Acid Leaching Oxidize tetravalent uranium ion (U 4+ ) to hexa- valent uranyl ion (UO 2 2+ ) using MnO 2 or NaClO 4 About 5 kg/t of MnO 2 or 1.5 kg/t of NaClO 4 UO 2 2+ reacts with H 2 SO 4 to form a uranyl sulfate complex anion, [UO 2 (SO 4 ) 3 ] 4-.

18 Leaching Processes Tank Leaching (Agitation) Vat Leaching Pressure Leaching (high temperature/pressure) Biological Leaching (Bacteria) Heap Leaching In-situ Leaching (solution mining)

19 Lixiviants Lixiviant is a liquid medium used to selectively extract a desired metal from a bulk material. It must achieve rapid and complete leaching. The metal is recovered from the pregnant (or loaded) solution after leaching. The lixiviant in a solution may be acidic or basic in nature. - H 2 SO 4 - NH 4 OH - HCl - NH 4 Cl or NH 4 CO 3 - HNO 3 - NaOH/KOH - HCN >> NaCN/KCN

20 Tank versus Vat Leaching Tank leaching is differentiated from vat leaching as follows: Tank Leaching – Fine grind (almost full liberation) – Pulp flows from one tank to the next Vat Leaching – Coarse material placed in a stationary vessel – No agitation except for fluid movement

21 Tank versus Vat Leaching Tanks are generally equipped with – agitators, – baffles, – gas nozzles, Pachuca tanks do not use agitators Tank equipment maintains solids in suspension and speeds-up leaching Tank leaching continuous / Vat leaching batch

22 Tank versus Vat Leaching Some novel vat leach processes are semi- continuous with the lixiviant being pumped through beds of solids in different stages Retention (or residence) time for vat leaching is much longer than tank leaching to achieve the same recovery level

23 Important Efficiency Factors Retention time = total volume of tanks / slurry volumetric flow - normally measured in hours - gold: 24 to 72 hours - copper: 12 to 36 hours - sequence of tanks called a leach "train" - mineralization & feed grade changes may need higher retention times

24 Important Efficiency Factors Particle Size - material ground to size to expose desired mineral to the leaching agent (liberation), tank leach>>> size must be suspendable by an agitation vat leach>>> size must be most economically viable - high recovery achieved as liberation increases or kinetics faster is balanced against increased cost of processing the material. Pulp density - percent solids determines retention time - determines settling rate and viscosity - viscosity controls gas mass transfer and leaching rate

25 Important Efficiency Factors Pulp density - percent solids determines retention time - determines settling rate and viscosity - viscosity controls gas mass transfer and leaching rate

26 Important Efficiency Factors Numbers of tanks - Tank leach circuits typically designed with 4 tanks Dissolved gases - Gas is injected below the agitator or into the vat bottom to achieve the desired dissolved gas levels - Typically, oxygen or air, or, in some base metal plants, SO2 is used.

27 Important Efficiency Factors Reagents - Adding/maintaining appropriate lixiviant level is critical - Insufficient reagents reduces metal recovery - Excess reagents increases operating costs and may lead to lower recovery due to dissolution of other metals - recycling spent (barren) solution reduces need for fresh reagents, but deleterious compounds may build-up leading to reduced kinetics

28 Pressure Leaching Sulfide Leaching more complex than Oxide Leaching Refractory nature of sulfide ores Presence of competing metal reactions Pressurized vessels (autoclaves) are used For example, metallurgical recovery of zinc: 2ZnS + O 2 + 2H 2 SO 4 2ZnSO 4 + 2H 2 O + 2S Reaction proceeds at temperatures above B.P. of water (100 °C) This creates water vapor under pressure inside the vessel. Oxygen is injected under pressure Total pressure in the autoclave over 0.6 MPa.

29 Sulfide Heap Leaching Ni recovery much more complex than Cu Requires stages to remove Fe and Mg Process produces residue and precipitates from recovery plant (iron oxides/Mg-Ca sulfates) Final product – Ni(OH) 2 precipitates (NHP) or mixed metal hydroxide precipitates (MHP) that are smelted conventionally

30 Bio-Leaching Thiobacillus ferrooxidans used to control ratio of ferric to ferrous ions in solution (Tf acts as a catalyst) 4Fe 2+ (aq) + O 2 (g) + 4H 3 O + 4Fe 3+ (aq) + 4H 2 O Ferric sulfate used to leach sulfide copper ores Basic process is acceleration of ARD Typical plant leach times for refractory gold ore is about 24 hours

31 Bio-Leaching

32 Bio-Leaching at Snow Lake, Manitoba BacTech to use bio-leaching to deal with As and recover gold from an arsenic-bearing waste dump Two products – Chemically-stable ferric arsenate precipitate – Gold-rich Residue Concentrate 110 tpd of concentrate for 10 years Annual production = 10,400 oz plus some Ag CAPEX = $21,400,000OPEX = $973/oz Gold Recovery after toll-smelting = 88.6%

33 SX - Solvent Extraction Pregnant (or loaded) leach solution is emulsified with a stripped organic liquid and then separated Metal is exchanged from pregnant solution to organic Resulting streams are loaded organic and raffinate (spent solution) Loaded organic is emulsified with a spent electrolyte and then separated Metal is exchanged from the organic to the electrolyte Resulting streams are stripped organic and rich electrolyte

34 Solvent Extraction Mixer/Settler

35 Reason for 4 Stages of SX

36 Solvent Extraction and Heap Leaching

37 Ion Exchange Resins AMn = synthetic ion-exchange resin (class A - 0.6–1.6 mm) Phenyl tri-methyl ammonium functional groups Macro-porous void structure Similar to strong base anion exchange resins – Zeolite MPF (GB) – Amberlite IRA (USA) – Levatite MP-500 (FRG) – Deion PA (JPN)

38 Resin-In-Pulp Pachuca Tank

39 Resin-In-Pulp Pachuca Tanks


41 Kinetics of RIP for Uranium

42 Effect of pH on RIP for Uranium

43 RIP Recovery in each stage

44 In-situ Leaching In 2011, 45% of world uranium production was by ISL Over 80% of uranium mining in the US and Kazakhstan In US, ISL is seen to be most cost effective and environmentally acceptable method of mining Some ISLs add H 2 O 2 as oxidant with H 2 SO 4 as lixiviant US ISL mines use an alkali leach due to presence of significant quantities of gypsum and limestone Even a few percent of carbonate minerals means that alkali leach must be used although recovery does suffer

45 In-situ Leaching Average grades of sandstone-hosted deposits range between 0.05% to 0.40% U 3 O 8.

46 In-situ Leaching


48 Acid consumption varies depending on operating philosophy and geological conditions In Australia, it is only a fraction of that used in Kazakhstan In Kazakh, about 40 kg acid per kg U (ranging from 20-80) Beverley mine in Australia in 2007 was 7.7 kg/kg U. Power consumption is about 19 kWh/kg U (16 kWh/kg U 3 O 8 ) in Australia and around 33 kWh/kg U in Kazakhstan Uranium/In-Situ-Leach-Mining-of-Uranium/#.UUihT1fQhLo

49 In-situ Leaching – well patterns

50 EMF Chart

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