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Category: Reactions and Processes
Question: Are there any hydrometallurgical processes used to produce copper?
Keywords: copper,production,hydrometallurgical,cominco
Answer: Traditionally, copper is produced by smelting the raw ore. Essentially this method employes heat as a means of separating the copper from its ore.Cominco Engineering has commercialized a process to produce copper from ore via a hydrometallurgical process. The process utilizes a commercial solvent to extract the copper via pressure leaching at 200 psig and 150 0C or less. The solution breaks down the copper sulfide to copper sulfate and elemental sulfur. The copper sulfate is dissolved by weak sulfuric acid. Copper is recovered via electrowinning. Yields as high as 99.5% have been reported with this method.