How is Copper produced?
Copper plays a vital role in almost every industry and is key to develop celan energy sources as well as digital transition
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.
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.
During this process, different waste streams are formed, containing large amounts of Critical Raw Materials. In RECOPPs, we work with two of these generated residues: the ESP converter dust and the eluate, from which we can recover Bismuth and Antimony to create as new end-product. Unfortunately, these residues also contain a high amount of the hazardous Arsenic that needs to be managed to minimize its release into the environment.