Effect of agglomeration binders on the copper solvent extraction process
Minerals & Metallurgical Processing
, 2009, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 121-126
Lewandowski, K.A.; Kawatra, S.Komar
Binders have been suggested as an aid for agglomeration to improve copper recovery in heap leaching operations. However, it has not been established if the use of binders would negatively affect the solvent extraction process, which is used to purify the pregnant leach solution from the heaps and remove any contaminants. Such negative effects would lead to an increase in processing costs or a decreased in copper production. The controlled studies reported here have shown that some binders (a polyacrylamide and a waste treatment additive) did not interfere with the solvent extraction process. Other binders (a polyvinyl acetate emulsion and tall oil pitch) negatively impacted copper solvent extraction and, therefore, should not be used in copper heap leaching plants.