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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X

J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. vol.109 n.12 Johannesburg Dec. 2009




A semi-empirical kinetic model for the atmospheric leaching of a Ni-Cu converter matte in copper sulphate-sulphuric acid solution



R.M. LamyaI; L. LorenzenII

IImpala Platinum Refineries, Springs, South Africa
IIDepartment of Process Engineering, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa




A semi-empirical kinetic model was developed for the atmospheric leaching of a Ni-Cu matte in copper sulphate-sulphuric acid solution. Kinetics of the leaching process was studied as a function of initial copper ion concentration, initial acid concentration, temperature, stirring rate and particle size distribution. The kinetic model was developed on the basis of the leaching mechanism and chemical reactions of the leaching system investigated, and was evaluated by comparing the model predictions to experimental data. The model was found to satisfactorily fit the trends in the leaching of the metals, namely copper, nickel, cobalt and iron.



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