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ArticleName Hydrometallurgical technologies of copper and nickel electrolytic refining slimes processing
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2017.05.06
ArticleAuthor Melnikov Yu. T., Kravtsova E. D., Krinitsyn D. O.

Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk, Russia:

Yu. T. Melnikov, Assistant Professor, Chair of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry
E. D. Kravtsova, Assistant Professor, Chair of Composite Materials and Physical Chemistry of Metallurgical Processes, e-mail:
D. O. Krinitsyn, Assistant Professor, Chair of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry


Analysis of existing technologies of copper and nickel electrolysis slimes processing shows the prospect of transfer to their hydrochemical methods of processing. Our developments offers the process flowsheets, including: hydrochemical leaching of copper and nickel from metallic and chalcogenide phases; flotation separation of salt and oxide phases from metallic and chalcogenide phases; hydrochemical transfer of selenium into solution. The copper electrolytic slime processing technology (copper extraction, gold and selenium leaching, silver leaching, tellurium dissolution) was developed on the slimes of Almalyk mining and metallurgical combine. Copper extraction was held in sulfuric acid solution (S:L = 1:4 and the temperature of 25–30 оC). Sodium nitrite consumption was 0.5–1.0% from slime mass. Bulk oxygen was sent to reactor, providing the vacuum on the level of 98–245 Pa. Residual content of copper in cake was 0.5–1.5%. We investigated two schemes of processing of cake from copper extraction. The first one was based on selenium and gold leaching from cake. Sodium nitrite consumption was 2–3% from slime mass, and leaching time was not more than 5–6 hours. After the deep oxidating leaching of cake, gold was selectively sedimented from the solution using sulfur dioxide. Then selenium was sedimented by concentrated solution of sodium sulfite. Further processing of cake by ammonia solution provided selective extraction of silver from it. The second scheme offered the cake flotation, and alkali-salt washing of released concentrate. This method allows the release of gold, silver and platinum group metals from flotation concentrate into rich middlings, and the selenium transfer into solution. The process is not connected with release of toxic gases. Powdered form of metal-bearing product is the most suitable for further refining. We show the possibility of obtaining of the concentrate with not less than 90% of platinum group metals, simple separation of platinum group metals, selenium and tellurium.

keywords Copper electrolytic slime, nickel slime, autoclave leaching, nitriteprocess, flotation, salt sintering, silver selenide, platinum group metals

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