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Improving leaching recovery of copper from low-grade chalcopyrite ores

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2013, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 180-185

Ekenes, J.M.; Caro, C.A.


New approaches that increase hydrometallurgical recovery from refractory minerals in below mill cutoff -grade sulfide copper ore can add significant value, improve profitability and increase ore reserves. This paper describes the development and implementation of an engineered heap (EH) approach to leaching low-grade, chalcopyrite-bearing ore at Freeport-McMoRan’s mine in Morenci, AZ. The technical evolution of the engineered heap concept is described together with the challenges and benefits following implementation.