rocess of copper mining

copper mining & extraction process flow chart

This flowchart made of machinery icons explains or expresses in simple but clear terms the step of theCopper Mining and Copper Extraction Process. Starting from either open-pit or underground mining and using a different relevant treatment method for oxide or sulphide copper mineral (ore).

Havinga quick look now at how porphyry ores are treated and the metals extracted. There are two main process streams; one for sulfide ores and the other for ore that is being weathered to oxidize sulfides the so-called oxide ores. All ore in the pit is drilled and blasted and loaded into trucks and hauled for treatment if the ore is un-oxidized sulfidic ore then it needs to be crushed and milled to a fine slurry then it gets past through flotation cells in a concentrator to separate and concentrate the sulfides. The top picture shows the interior of a large concentrator with rows of individual flotation cells the floatation agent is added to the slurry and stirred. The floatation agent preferably sticks to the sulfide minerals rather than the waste minerals and then air is bubbled through the mixture and the floatation agent traps the fine bubbles which carry the sulfides to the surface of the cell where they are carried over aware and separated. From there they are dried to provide a concentrate which then goes on to a smelter. This is the same process for both copper and molybdenum porphyries. The smelter is basically a large furnace which melts the concentrate and drives off the sulfide to leave molten copper metal this is still contains impurities and it needs to be refined further to make it a salable product.

Returning to the overall process; that is the process for the sulfide ores and the oxide ore as I said are treated differently. Direct from the pit the oxide ore is piled onto large lined leach pads and the sulfuric acid. The top photo shows one of these leach pads with the new thick black plastic liner visible on the right of the pad. The copper oxide minimum minerals are dissolved by the acid to give a blue copper rich solution mainly of copper sulfate. This solution is tapped off from the bottom of the pad and placed into big tanks with steel plates an electrical current is passed from the tank to the steel which is then electroplated with pure copper. This process as the advantage of avoiding the smelting and refining stages required for sulfide ores.

copper production: how is copper made?

Copper processing is a complex process that involves many steps as the manufacturer processes the ore from its raw, mined state into a purified form for use in many industries. Copper is typically extracted from oxide and sulfide ores that contain between 0.5 and 2.0% copper.

The refining techniques employed by copper producers depend on the ore type, as well as other economic and environmental factors. Currently, about 80% of global copper production is extracted from sulfide sources.

Regardless of the ore type, mined copper ore must first be concentrated to remove gangue or unwanted materials embedded in the ore. The first step in this process is crushing and powdering ore in a ball or rod mill.

Virtually all sulfide-type copper ores, including chalcocite (Cu2S), chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) and covellite (CuS), are treated by smelting. After crushing the ore to a fine powder, it is concentrated by froth flotation, which requires mixing the powdered ore with reagents that combine with the copper to make it hydrophobic. The mixture is then bathed in water along with a foaming agent, which encourages frothing.

Jets of air are shot up through the water forming bubbles that float the water repellent copper particles to the surface. The froth, which contains about 30% copper, 27% iron and 33% sulfur, is skimmed off and taken for roasting.

If economical, lesser impurities that may be present in the ore, such as molybdenum, lead, gold, and silver, can also be processed and removed at this time through selective flotation. At temperatures between 932-1292F (500-700C), much of the sulfur content remaining is burned off as sulfide gas, resulting in a calcine mix of copper oxides and sulfides.

Fluxes are added to the calcine copper, which is now about 60% pure before it is heated again, this time to 2192F (1200CC). At this temperature, the silica and limestone fluxes combine with unwanted compounds, such as ferrous oxide, and bring them to the surface to be removed as slag. The remaining mixture is a molten copper sulfide referred to as matte.

The next step in the refining process is to oxidize liquid matte in order to remove iron to burn off sulfide content as sulfur dioxide. The result is 97-99%, blister copper. The term blister copper comes from the bubbles produced by sulfur dioxide on the surface of the copper.

In order to produce market-grade copper cathodes, blister copper must first be cast into anodes and treated electrolytically. Immersed in a tank of copper sulfate and sulphuric acid, along with a pure copper cathode starter sheet, the blister copper becomes the anode in a galvanic cell. Stainless steel cathode blanks are also used at some refineries, such as Rio Tinto's Kennecott Copper Mine in Utah.

After crushing oxide-type copper ores, such as azurite (2CuCO3 Cu(OH)3), brochantite (CuSO4), chrysocolla (CuSiO3 2H2O) and cuprite (Cu2O), dilute sulfuric acid is applied to the surface of the material on leaching pads or in leaching tanks. As the acid trickles through the ore, it combines with the copper, producing a weak copper sulfate solution.

Solvent extraction involves stripping the copper from the pregnant liquor using an organic solvent, or extractant. During this reaction, copper ions are exchanged for hydrogen ions, allowing the acid solution to be recovered and re-used in the leaching process.

The copper-rich aqueous solution is then transferred to an electrolytic tank where the electro-winning part of the process occurs. Under electrical charge, copper ions migrate from the solution to copper starter cathodes that are made from high purity copper foil.

Other elements that may be present in the solution, such as gold, silver, platinum, selenium, and tellurium, collect in the bottom of the tank as slimes and can be recovered through further processing.

The development of SX-EW has allowed copper extraction in areas where sulfuric acid is not available or cannot be produced from sulfur within the copper ore body, as well as from old sulfide minerals that have been oxidized by exposure to air or bacterial leaching and other waste materials that would have previously been disposed of unprocessed.

This process involves drilling boreholes and pumping a leachate solution - usually sulfuric or hydrochloric acid - into the ore body. The leachate dissolves copper minerals before it is recovered via a second borehole. Further refining using SX-EW or chemical precipitation produces marketable copper cathodes.

Global mine production of copper is estimated to have exceeded 19 million metric tons in 2017. The primary source of copper is Chile, which produces approximately one-third of the total world supply. Other large producers include the US, China, and Peru.

Due to the high value of pure copper, a large portion of copper production now comes from recycled sources. In the US, recycled copper accounts for about 32% of annual supply. Globally, this number is estimated to be closer to 20%.

The largest corporate producer of copper worldwide is the Chilean state enterprise Codelco. Codelco produced 1.84 million metric tonnes of refined copper in 2017. Other large producers include Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc., BHP Billiton Ltd., and Xstrata Plc.

copper processing | definition, history, & facts | britannica

In its pure form or as an alloy, copper (Cu) is one of the most important metals in society. The pure metal has a face-centred cubic crystal structure, and there is no critical temperature at which this crystal structure changes. Consequently, it is ductile and possesses a high level of electrical and thermal conductivity, making it attractive for a wide range of ornamental and practical applications. With cold-working, copper becomes harder, but it can be made soft again with the heat treating process known as annealing.

Copper was discovered and first used during the Neolithic Period, or New Stone Age. Though the exact time of this discovery will probably never be known, it is believed to have been about 8000 bce. Copper is found in the free metallic state in nature; this native copper is the material that humans employed as a substitute for stone. From it they fashioned crude hammers and knives and, later, other utensils. The malleability of the material made it relatively simple to shape implements by beating the metal. Pounding hardened the copper so that more durable edges resulted; the bright reddish colour of the metal and its durability made it highly prized.

The search for copper during this early period led to the discovery and working of deposits of native copper. Sometime after 6000 bce the discovery was made that the metal could be melted in the campfire and cast into the desired shape. Then followed the discovery of the relation of metallic copper to copper-bearing rock and the possibility of reducing ores to the metal by the use of fire and charcoal. This was the dawn of the metallic age and the birth of metallurgy.

The early development of copper probably was most advanced in Egypt. As early as 5000 bce, copper weapons and implements were left in graves for the use of the dead. Definite records have been found of the working of copper mines on the Sinai Peninsula about 3800 bce, and the discovery of crucibles at these mines indicates that the art of extracting the metal included some refining. Copper was hammered into thin sheets, and the sheets were formed into pipes and other objects. During this period bronze first appeared. The oldest known piece of this material is a bronze rod found in the pyramid at Maydm (Medum), near Memphis in Egypt, the date of origin being generally accepted as about 3700 bce.

Bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, is both harder and tougher than either; it was widely employed to fashion weapons and objects of art. The period of its extensive and characteristic use has been designated the Bronze Age. From Egypt the use of bronze rapidly spread over the Mediterranean area: to Crete in 3000 bce, to Sicily in 2500 bce, to France and other parts of Europe in 2000 bce, and to Britain and the Scandinavian area in 1800 bce.

About 3000 bce copper was produced extensively on the island of Cyprus. The copper deposits there were highly prized by the successive masters of the islandEgyptians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Persians, and Romans. Cyprus was almost the sole source of copper to the Romans, who called it aes cyprium (ore of Cyprus), which was shortened to cyprium and later corrupted to cuprum, from which comes the English name copper. The first two letters of the Latin name constitute the chemical symbol Cu.

When copper and bronze were first used in Asia is not known. The epics of the Shujing mention the use of copper in China as early as 2500 bce, but nothing is known of the state of the art at that time or of the use of the metal prior to that time. Bronze vessels of great beauty made during the Shang dynasty, 17661122 bce, have been found, indicating an advanced art. The source of the metals, however, is unknown.

The Copper Age in the Americas probably dawned between 100 and 200 ce. Native copper was mined and used extensively and, though some bronze appeared in South America, its use developed slowly until after the arrival of Columbus and other European explorers. Both North and South America passed more or less directly from the Copper Age into the Iron Age.

As man learned to fashion weapons from iron and steel, copper began to assume another role. Being a durable metal and possessed of great beauty, it was used extensively for household utensils and water pipes and for marine uses and other purposes that required resistance to corrosion. The unusual ability of this metal to conduct electric current accounts for its greatest use today.

6 stages of the mining process | boss magazine

The mining process is responsible for much of the energy we use and products we consume. Mining has been a vital part of American economy and the stages of the mining process have had little fluctuation. However, the process of mining for ore is intricate and requires meticulous work procedures to be efficient and effective. This is why we have broken down the mining process into six comprehensive steps.

The first stage in the mining process calls for skilled workers or AI to apply their geological knowledge in identifying areas where a particular ore can be found. There are two methods workers and machines can employ during this stage:

The digging of tunnels and sink shafts when the oreor mineral depositis below the surface. Hand tools such as chisels, hammers, and wedges are used to break up waste rock, Sometimes, areas must even be blasted in order to loosen rock so workers can more easily separate the ore from the waste rockwhich are mined separately.

The next step, once the ore is excavated, is to separate the waste rock and ore using primary crushers, located at the open pit mine site. At this point, larger rocks are broken down to a size better suited for the conveyor belt to transport.

Once the ore has been processed and shipped away for sale, the final step of the mining process begins. The land which was used to obtain these resources must be rehabilitated as much as possible. The objectives of this process include:

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kaz minerals | focused on copper

KAZ Minerals operates the Aktogay and Bozshakol open pit copper mines in the East Region and Pavlodar region of Kazakhstan, three underground mines and associated concentrators in the East Region of Kazakhstan and the Bozymchak copper-gold mine in Kyrgyzstan. The Group acquired the Baimskaya project in the Chukotka region of Russia in January 2019, one of the worlds most significant undeveloped copper assets, with the potential to become a large scale, low cost, open pit copper mine

KAZ Minerals is a responsible developer and operator of mining assets in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. Environmental, social and governance matters are at the core of our strategy and licence to operate

The mines generally contain sulphide ores and by-products that vary in quantities and proportions between mines. The main by-products are zinc, silver, gold and molybdenum. Each step in the copper process focuses on removing increasing amounts of unwanted materials, turning ore into concentrate and then finished metals.

Our Aktogay project commenced production of copper cathode from oxide ore via SX/EW in December 2015 and the main sulphide concentrator at Aktogay commenced commissioning in December 2016. The Group is currently investing in a $1.2 billion expansion at Aktogay which will double the sulphide processing capacity. The second sulphide concentrator is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2021. Bozshakol commenced production of copper concentrate from sulphide ore in February 2016.

Since completion of the Group restructuring on 31 October 2014 KAZ Minerals no longer carries out smelting and refining activities internally, instead sending copper concentrate directly to export markets or to external providers of smelting and refining services in Kazakhstan.

copper mining and processing: everything you need to know

In 2013, nearly 18 million tons of copper was produced throughout the world. With production just under 6 million tons, Chile is the worlds largest producer, with the United States following close behind.

Once its located within the earth, copper ore goes through eight stages before the consumer sees it in various products that affect every day life in the home and business. These eight stages include:

At the beginning of the 20th century, the annual worldwide copper demand was at half a million tons. By World War II, this demand had multiplied by more than nine times. Continued advancements in technology have allowed the copper mining industry to keep up with worldwide demands with mining methods that are efficient and cost-effective.

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At General Kinematics, we strive to provide valuable resources to all of our customers. As we enter 2019, we will continue to do so and build upon our current library of resources and information. But we know our library can be slightly overwhelming, which is why were sharing our top GK posts of all time []

At General Kinematics, we strive to provide valuable resources to all of our customers. As we enter 2019, we will continue to do so and build upon our current library of resources and information. But we know our library can be slightly overwhelming, which is why were sharing our top GK posts of all time []

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In the summer months, the amount of work accidents spike due to the constant distractions provided by nice weather and end of the school year. For this reason, National Safety Month is celebrated in the month of June to remind us the importance of safety and awareness of our surroundings. To wrap up safety month []

The growth of the electric vehicle market is not only beginning to have a noticeable impact on the automobile industry but the metals market as well. In fact, one of the most affected may be the recycling industry. As of December 2017, cumulative sales of highway-legal plug-in electric vehicles in the U.S. totaled 764,666, representing []

The growth of the electric vehicle market is not only beginning to have a noticeable impact on the automobile industry but the metals market as well. In fact, one of the most affected may be the recycling industry. As of December 2017, cumulative sales of highway-legal plug-in electric vehicles in the U.S. totaled 764,666, representing []

geology of copper | properties, mining, and formation of copper

Copper has been used by humans for over 10,000 years. It is both a native element and a mineral. This gives it a place on the periodic table with an atomic number of 29. Copper is also a necessary part of the human diet. Without it, humans could not survive.

Despite its aesthetically pleasing appearance, the industrial uses of copper greatly outnumber its decorative uses. Understanding its geological properties makes it easy to see why humans have always been so fond of working with and investing in this marvelous precious metal.

As one of the first metals ever mined by humans, copper helped the early humans emerge from the Stone Age. AIt was a crucial component of the creation of bronze and it played a major role in the further development of more advanced societies as we entered the Bronze Age.

Dating as far back as 10,000 years ago, copper was used to make things like coins, ornaments, and tools. In modern times, it is more useful than ever. Because it conducts electricity, it is commonly used in electrical wiring and for many other types of applications.

Copper has been found on almost every continent. It has also been mined in Central America, the Caribbean, Northeast Asia, North Central Asia, the Southeast Asian Archipelagos, Eastern Australia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. One of the largest current sources of copper mining today is in Chile.

There is an estimated 5.8 trillion pounds of copper on Earth. A little more than half a trillion has been extracted since humans first began mining it. Less than 12 percent of the planets copper supply has been mined between 8,000 BCE and today.

Copper is found alongside many other types of ore. It can be found near gold, silver, zinc, lead, and other types of metal deposits. When mixed in with other ores, copper is not usually found in great abundance.

Until the development of the modern copper mining process, it was typically a byproduct of mining for other metals. The deposits that contain the largest quantities of copper are called porphyry deposits, and the process of extracting it usually involves drilling an open pit into a layer of sedimentary rock.

To understand how copper is formed, it helps to look at how porphyry depositsthe largest current sources of copper oreform. The orebodies form in hydrothermal veins that are born in underground magma chambers far below the deposit itself. The high temperatures of volcanic magma creates hydrothermal veins, allowing some of the heat to escape near the upper layers of the Earths crust.

This is why copper is often found in the sedimentary layer, where sand and mud are compressed until they form a layer of sedimentary rock on the surface of the earth. Copper ore gets trapped in oxidized zones within these types of rocks.

Copper is also commonly found in the oxidized zones of mineral deposits and in basalt cavities that have been in contact with hydrothermal veins. The presence of volcanoes in a region is often a good indicator of the presence of copper because that is where basalt cavities are in abundance near the sedimentary layer of the Earth.

Copper is a mineral by definition because it is a native element on Earth. Its applications range from practical/utilitarian to decorative/ornamental. It efficiently conducts electricity, so it is frequently used in wiring.

Copper is also a necessity for human health; we need a daily supply of this mineral. People get their dietary copper through things like seafood and other meats, whole grains, nuts, raisins, and even chocolate. Because it has so many uses, copper will continue to be valuable well into the future.

Copper is inextricably linked to human development and its value remains stable because it has so many different and important uses. It tends to be a solid investment because demand for copper is only expected to remain steady or grow in the future. While not as valuable as gold, silver, or other precious metals, raw copper bullion is available in bars, coins, and rounds.