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Response surface methodology for optimization of copper leaching from a low-grade flotation middling

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2011, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 139-145

Liu, Jian; Wen, Shuming; Liu, Dan; Lv, Mengyang


The study aims to leach copper from a low-grade flotation middling by optimizing the leaching process using response surface methodology. The effect of key parameters, i.e., sulfuric acid concentration, nitric acid concentration and leaching time, on the leaching efficiency was investigated and a quadratic model was suggested by the methodology to correlate the variables to the efficiency. The results indicate that the model is in good agreement with the experimental data at a correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.97 and the most influential parameter on efficiency was identified as sulfuric acid concentration. The optimum conditions for copper leaching from the middling were identified as sulfuric acid concentration at 103.74 g/L, nitric acid concentration at 12.50 g/L and leaching time of 30.98 min; under such a condition, an average leaching efficiency of 93.16% was achieved from the middling.