The primary sulfide minerals of copper have been difficult to leach for direct copper extraction. In particular chalcopyrite has been observed to undergo a type of passivation under a variety of oxidative leaching conditions. Chalcopyrite is one of the most abundant copper-bearing minerals, accounting for approximately 70% of the world’s known copper reserves.
ARV Leach utilizes a high concentration of sulfuric acid and maintains the sulfuric acid at this high concentration level in a glass-lined reactor for obtaining high copper extraction with short residence times. It requires the injection of oxygen gas in order to regenerate the acid by reaction with sulfur dioxide and water generated during the sulfation process. ARV Leach Introduces vigorous agitation and appropriate agitation in order to avoid passivation by interference of sulphates, which may be formed during the sulfation process. Accordingly, oxygen gas is more efficiently used in the regeneration of sulfuric acid with high permanence and short residence time in the reactor gas.
The concentrates used do not require regrinding since they are obtained directly from a flotation process, requiring only drying. To ensure that all chalcopyrite has reacted, we propose a flotation process for recycling the chalcopyrite. This has been a major concern of the mining industry for which the ARV LEACH process presents a viable solution.