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In the conditions of Zhezkazgan copper deposit, exploited by underground method, ore losses in pillars left ranges from 12 to 25%, sometimes reaching 40%. During the period of Zhezkazgan deposit development, tens million tonnes of rich ores remained as the losses. Annual growing ore losses in various pillars, taking into account the growing overall ore production, is approximately equal to the annual productivity of the whole mine. Besides, high-grade copper ore sublayers has not yet involved in mining. Therefore, the search for the most effective methods of mining lost, off-balance, and waste ores is of paramount importance. One of such methods is in-situ leaching, which allows secondary extracting and maximum use of the mineral wealth. The research purpose was to experimentally study the processes of leaching of oxidized, mixed, and sulfide copper ores for old mined-out mines of Zhezkazgan deposit using various solvents. Leaching of oxidized and sulfide ores was carried out in 2 stages, while duration of the short-term tests was 35 days, and that of long-term ones, 294 days. For 10 months, 50-80% of copper can be leached from the oxidized-sulfide ores with particle size of below 20 mm. For the same period, 30-50% of copper was leached from chalcocite ore, whereas only 5-12% were extracted from bornite-chalcopyrite ore. This indicates low efficiency of leaching processing of the bornite-chalcopyrite ore. The best solvents in this case are sulfuric acid (5-10 g/l) and acidified iron (III) sulfate Fe2(SO4)3 (5 g/l). Sulfuric acid consumption in the process of leaching and development of oxidizing processes decreases to 1.6-3.2 t/t of copper for the oxidized ore and to 2.5-4.1 t/t for the chalcocite ore that makes sulfuric acid leaching quite acceptable for these ores in terms of performance indicators.

About the Authors

N. Zhalgasuly
Kunaev Mining Institute
191, Abay Ave., Almaty, Kazakhstan, A05A1K0

A. V. Kogut
Kunaev Mining Institute
191, Abay Ave., Almaty, Kazakhstan, A05A1K0

A. A. Ismailova
Kunaev Mining Institute
191, Abay Ave., Almaty, Kazakhstan, A05A1K0


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Supplementary files

For citation: Zhalgasuly N., Kogut A.V., Ismailova A.A. STUDY OF LEACHABILITY OF ZHEZKAZGAN DEPOSIT COPPER ORES. Gornye nauki i tekhnologii = Mining Science and Technology (Russia). 2018;(2):14-22.

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