Growing role of solvent extraction in copper ores processing
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Wroclaw University of Technology
Tomasz Chmielewski   

Chemical Metallurgy Division, Department of Chemistry, Wroclaw University of Technology, Wybrzeze Wyspiańskiego 23, 50-370 Wroclaw, Poland
Publication date: 2008-01-01
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2008;42(1):29–36
Heap leaching of oxide copper ores and cathode copper recovery by solvent extraction (SX) and elec- trowinning (EW) has been well established as a primary low-cost hydrometallurgical copper recovery method. Subsequently, hydrometallurgy was also gradually developed and applied for sulphidic ores and concentrates. Presently, more than 20 % of total world production of copper is achieved through the solvent extraction route. The success of this method led to a significant revival in the development of hydrometallurgical processes to recover copper from ores both sulphidic and oxidized. This work reviews the major problems related to solvent extraction from pregnant leach solutions (PLS) after leaching oxide and sulphide copper minerals.