Improved flow measurement and control are key to efficiency
Mining Engineering, 2018, Vol. 70, No. 10, pp. 39-39
Johnson , Alena
Much of the copper being produced today uses heap leaching, where pure metal is extracted from the ore with a chemical process rather than smelting. This technique is deployed extensively in major copper producing areas including Chile, Peru and the southwestern United States.
Copper ore is excavated from the ground, crushed and then spread in uniform layers on a pad. A slow trickle of sulfuric acid is distributed over the pile, where it percolates to the bottom and a collection point. The acid leaches out the copper, along with other minerals, which can be extracted chemically. This process can be used at large sites producing 100 kt/a (110,000 stpy) and greater.
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