Effect of pH reduction and ferric ion addition on the leaching of chalcopyrite at high temperatures

Javier Vilcáez, Ryoichi Yamada, Koichi Suto, Chihiro Inoue

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Up to now various methods including bioleaching with thermophilic archea have been studied to enhance the leaching of chalcopyrite. However, the combined effect of pH and ORP at thermophilic temperatures (65-80°C) has attracted little attention. Therefore, in this work, various chalcopyrites including two concentrates and two ore minerals were leached. It was found that a temperature of 65°C and an initial pH of 1.0 can lead to copper extractions comparable to those obtained in bioleaching with A. brierleyi and S. metallicus. Furthermore, with the addition of Fe3+ (200mg/L) at an initial pH of 1.0 where jarosite precipitation could be avoided and low ORP values could be induced, higher leaching rates than in bioleaching were obtained. In addition to the low ORP values derived from the presence of low amounts of Fe3+ (200mg/L), the notable enhancement is attributed to the generation of sufficient amounts of Fe3+ that resulted from the oxidation of the released Fe2+ by oxygen at 65-80°C and initial pH of 1.0 without the aid of thermophiles.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHydrometallurgy 2008
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 6th International Symposium
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventHydrometallurgy 2008: 6th International Symposium - Phoenix, AZ, United States
Duration: 2008 Aug 172008 Aug 21

Publication series

NameHydrometallurgy 2008: Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium


OtherHydrometallurgy 2008: 6th International Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPhoenix, AZ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Metals and Alloys


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