The MIIS Eprints Archive

Copper ore heap leaching

Barton, N.G. and Wake, G.C. (1997) Copper ore heap leaching. [Study Group Report]



Heap leaching of ore is becoming more important as a cost effective means of metal extraction. Important metals like copper and gold are produced by this process. In this report, we study chemical and physical processes in heap leaching in order to gain a better understanding of leach heaps. These processes are complicated, not well supported by data, and generally not well understood. Heap leaching is investigated using a variety of complementary approaches: data analysis, microstructure models of the ore, overall chemical processes, and analysis of fluid motions by continuum and probabilistic methods. A significant finding of our work is that voids in the heap are not full of solution, and further the distribution of leach liquor within the ore is not uniform which decreases the efficiency of the leaching process. We suggest mechanisms by which the uniformity of the leach liquor distribution can be increased, thus increasing the efficiency of the process.

Item Type:Study Group Report
Problem Sectors:Materials
Study Groups:Australian and New Zealand Mathematics in Industry Study Group > MISG 1997
Company Name:WMC (Copper Uranium Division)
ID Code:489
Deposited By: Dr Kamel Bentahar
Deposited On:19 Dec 2011 14:54
Last Modified:29 May 2015 20:06

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