Response surface methodology (RSM) for optimization of chalcopyrite concentrate leaching with silver-coated pyrite
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Department of Mining Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
School of Mining Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Iran
Publication date: 2016-06-01
Corresponding author
Soghra Salehi   

University of Tehran, Iran, Tehran, 0098 Tehran, Iran
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2016;52(2):1023-1035
This study aims to leach copper from chalcopyrite and optimizing the leaching process, using the response surface methodology (RSM). The RSM, a D-optimal design with four factors in three levels was employed to evaluate the effect of particle size, temperature, silver-coated pyrite to chalcopyrite ratio and redox potential parameters on the copper extraction efficiency. A quadratic model was then proposed by the RSM to correlate leaching variables. The tests results indicated that the model was significant with the experimental data at a correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.96. The most important parameters of copper extraction efficiency were particle size and silver-coated pyrite-to-chalcopyrite ratio, and also the squared term of particle size (A2), temperature (B2) and redox potential (D2). In addition, the interaction between redox potential and silver-coated pyrite-to-chalcopyrite ratio (CD) was significant. It was shown that the finer the particle size the faster the leaching rate of copper. It was also indicated that by increasing silver-coated pyrite to chalcopyrite ratio of 6:1 copper recovery increased. The maximum recovery of copper (71%) was obtained for the particle size of -38 μm, 70 °C, 420 mV of redox potential, silver-coated pyrite-to-chalcopyrite ratio of 6 and leaching time of 8 hours.
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