Why Copper?

Copper is one of the oldest metals in history. After thousands of years, copper is still highly demanded as its versatility meets the needs of the modern world. During the last years, high purity Copper (Cu) deposits have become less common and most of the existing mines are near to an end-exploitation. As a result, the Cu industry sector has been in the need of exploiting low Cu quality deposits managing, with it, large volumes of raw materials.

Copper (Cu) production process

The Industrial process for the treatment of Cu ore concentrate and its transformation into cathodes focuses on obtaining a high Cu quality (99.9%). This normally done by pyrometallurgical based-route and it involves several subsystems for flue gas purification, internal recycling, waste treatment elements, and recovery of valuable product.

Problematics
  • High purity Copper (Cu) deposits have become less common and most of the existing mines are near to an end-exploitation
  • As a result, low Cu quality deposits contain high impurities contents of Arsenic (As) generating large amounts of toxic waste that must be removed and managed.
  • High contents of Bismuth (Bi) and Antimony (Sb) are present on these low Cu quality deposits and can become added-value materials.
  • The occurrence of both Bi and Sb can also affect the cathode quality and the efficiency of the production process.

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