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The leaching of MgCO3 and CaCO3 from Mount Isa zinc concentrate

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2010, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 97-101

Yigit, E.; Saridede, M.N.


Hydrometallurgical production of zinc from concentrates is generally carried out by H2SO4 leaching. For the smooth operation of this process, some harmful components must be removed from the leach solution before the electrolysis stage; MgO is one of these compounds. Zinc concentrate samples from the Mount Isa mines were used in leaching tests. Leaching tests with an aqueous solution of H2SO4 and SO2 gas were carried out at various temperatures, pH levels and leaching durations. While duration and the pH value of the solution were effective parameters in H2SO4 leaching, temperature and pH were more effective in SO2 leaching for the removal of MgCO3 and CaCO3. Removal of MgCO3 and CaCO3 was generally achieved at low pH values. The results show that SO2 gas can be a good alternative to sulfuric acid in the leaching of MgCO3 and CaCO3.