The average grade of copper ores in the 21st century is below 0.6% copper, with a proportion of economic ore minerals being less than 2% of the total volume of the ore rock. A key objective in the metallurgical treatment of any ore is the separation of ore minerals from gangue minerals within the rock.
Copper ores, will be heavier than most of the background rocks, and will generally be brightly coloured green or blue. Gravity separation usually suffices to separate the ore. The metal is...
The process used to treat sulfide copper ores begins at the mine site, where the copper bearing minerals are physically separated from the rest of the rock. The flow diagram below shows how the percentage of copper increases as the ore is refined, first physically by froth flotation, then chemically by smelting and finally electrolytic refining.
To separate copper from its ore, the process is called smelting. The copper and ore are heated and the copper turns to liquid whichis then poured from the smelter. Home. Science.
Open pit: 90% of ore is mined by this method. Ores near the surface can be quarried after removal of the surface layers. The ore is treated with dilute sulfuric acid. This trickles slowly through the ore dissolving copper to form copper sulfate. The copper is recovered by electrolytic refining.
Copper processing Copper processing Ores: Principal forms in which copper ores are found include native copper, porphyry copper, massive deposits, and mixed ores. Native copper is simply the metal found unadulterated in nature. Occasionally copper is still found in its native form, but more frequently it is mixed with other minerals, some of which may have value themselves. The amount of ...
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Copper mines are only set up where there is more than 5kg of copper per tonne of rock . Ideally, the figure should be closer to 2%. The flow chart shows you how copper is extracted from its ore and converted into pure metal.
June 10, 2020
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