Copper Hydrometallurgy /Hydrometallurgical Process
This process is used for the extraction of copper from low grade sulfide ore. In this process, the crushed and ground ore in bulk (about 100,000 tons) is exposed to air and water in big tanks. The air in the presence of water gradually oxidizes copper and iron sulphides to their surphides. The process is completed in about one year.
The pale green liquid draining from the bottom contains copper sulphate which on treatment with iron, forms copper. CuSO4 + Fe → Cu + FeSO4
The precipitated copper is dried, melted and refined.