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ArticleName Process characteristics of Udokan copper deposit ores, defining the efficient processing flowsheet and prospective ways of the process improvement
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2017.10.04
ArticleAuthor Senchenko A. E., Kulikov Yu. V., Aksenov A. V.

Science-research and design Institute “TOMS” LLC, Irkutsk, Russia:

A. E. Senchenko, General Director, e-mail:
Yu. V. Kulikov, Chief Technologist
A. V. Aksenov, Chief Metallurgist


The paper presents a brief review of stage-by-stage development of the efficient processing flowsheet to treat the Udokan copper deposit ores as well as process solutions taken as a basis for the process procedures developed by Institute TOMS in 2014. Prospective ways for the further improvement of the process flowsheet to treat Udokan ores are also indicated in the paper. The process procedures were designed on the basis of comprehensive laboratory-scale testworks and results from the pilot-scale testing carried out at the pilot plant of Baikal Mining Company LLC with Institute TOMS assistance. Subsequently these process procedures were used as input data for development of the feasibility study of exploration standards which was successfully upheld by the State Reserves Committee of Russian Federation. The possible production risks for the enterprise are minimized due to the comprehensive research of process properties of all Udokan ore types. Each process stage of the offered flowsheet was multiply tested both in laboratory and pilot scale with participation of leading Russian scientists and engineers in the area of mineral processing. The process flowsheet recommended in the process procedures is unique for all types of Udokan ores and it allows one to reach high copper recovery values with obtaining of high-grade final products – cathode copper and sulfide concentrate with 45% of copper. Several prospective ways of optimization are available for this process flowsheet, and their realization can considerably increase the whole project’s economics. One of the most important ways of the process flowsheet improvement is to decrease specific energy consumptions during comminution operations. Another possible way of optimization of the already chosen process is to produce cathode copper from sulfide concentrate directly at the plant without sending it to any further refining enterprise.

keywords Сopper deposit, concentration, SAG, flotation, atmospheric leaching, extraction, electrolysis, thickening, filtration, cathode copper, sulfide concentrate

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