Materials Transactions Online

Materials Transactions, Vol.57 No.10 (2016) pp.1753-1758
© 2016 The Japan Institute of Metals and Materials

High Pressure Acid Leaching of Co Matte Converted from Co Concentrate

Gunha Kim1, Ga-hee Kang1, Sangjun Kim1, Sookyung Kim2, Jeongsoo Sohn2 and Kyungjung Kwon1

1Department of Energy & Mineral Resources Engineering, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Republic of Korea
2Urban Mine Department, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, 124 Gwahang-no, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

Cobalt concentrates are often leached with an acid such as sulfuric acid. An alternative leaching process of using matte is suggested. Cobalt concentrates are first converted to matte, enriching their major elements of Co, Cu and Fe, and the matte is treated by sulfuric acid pressurized leaching. The Co concentrate includes Co oxides as valuable minerals, whereas Co, Cu and Fe exist predominantly as sulfides in the matte. The effect of experimental factors such as oxygen partial pressure, sulfuric acid concentration and sulfur content in the matte on the leaching efficiency of Co is investigated. The presence of oxygen as an oxidizing agent improves the leaching efficiency of Co. Sulfuric acid concentration of 0.19 M is sufficient for the full dissolution of Co from the matte in oxygen atmosphere. A higher sulfur content in the matte enhances leaching rate of matte slightly. The leaching results are well matched with physicochemical characterization of Co concentrate, matte and residues. This alternative leaching process using Co matte could lead to a higher Co leaching efficiency than the direct leaching process using Co concentrate.

[doi:10.2320/matertrans.M2015417]

(Received 2015/11/12; Accepted 2016/05/23; Published 2016/09/25)

Keywords: matte, sulfuric acid, pressurized leaching, cobalt, copper, iron

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