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ArticleName An influence of the autoclave oxidation leaching of copper electrolytic slimes on their flotation behavior
ArticleAuthor Lastochkina M. A., Mastyugin S. A., Vergizova T. V., +Greyver T. N. , Ashikhin V. V.

“Gipronickel” Institute LLC, Saint Petersburg, Russia

M. A. Lastochkina, Senior Researcher, e-mail:

T. V. Vergizova, Senior Researcher


“Uralelectromed” OJSC, Verkhnyaya Pyshma, Russia

S. A. Mastyugin, Chief Technologist of an Engineering Department

V. V. Ashikhin, Chief Engineer


The problem of saving the extraction parameters and cost price of non-ferrous and noble metals became more important by the decreasing of raw materials quality in copper sub-industry. Therefore, the priority research objective is to develop the technological methods. These methods allow not only to concentrate the target metals to beneficed products, but also – to extract the valuable accompanying elements, which are previously lost with slimes and dust. One of the ways to solve this problem is to elaborate flowsheets, which combine the hydrometallurgical and beneficating processes. However, the peculiarities of chemical and phase composition of copper electrolytic slimes require the developing of special methods of slime treatment prior to the flotation beneficiation. One of the most effective methods is the autoclave leaching. This fact was shown by literature survey and operation experience with the metallurgical industrial products, which were beneficated by precious metals. The article shares the research results of the influence of autoclave leaching conditions and agitation conditions on the flotation indicators of the sludge cakes. Autoclave leaching conditions are: temperature and partial oxygen pressure. Agitation conditions are: agitator revolution number and specific power for pulp agitation and aeration. With using the instrumental methods of research (REM and EDX), there were found the reasons, which specify the change of flotation activity of slime components during the leaching process. It was determined that there is a range of series-parallel processes, during the process of autoclave oxidizing leaching of copper electrolytic slimes. This range provides the individualization of phases of precious metals and accompanying elements and high flotation activity of pulps. The concentrates and tails of the selenium and precious metals were obtained as a result of the processes of autoclave oxidized leaching and flotation. These concentrates contain up to 50% of silver and 10% of lead. The tails are suitable for processing in lead industry and contain 35–45% of lead in the form of sulfate and less than 1% of silver. The invention was patented on the basis of the research results.

keywords Сopper electrolytic slimes, autoclave oxidized leaching, flotation benefication, precious metals, accompanying elements, lead, silver, selenium

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