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Production of chalcocite by selective chlorination of chalcopyrite using cuprous chloride

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2017, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 76-83

Kang, J.; Lee, J.Y.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.19150/mmp.7507

ABSTRACT:

A selective chlorination process using cuprous chloride (CuCl) was investigated for producing high-grade chalcocite (Cu2S) from chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) feed. The chalcopyrite feed was reacted with CuCl in the presence or absence of sulfur (S) at temperatures between 900 and 1,100 K for five hours under an argon gas atmosphere. The experimental results indicate that iron (Fe) was selectively removed from the chalcopyrite feed as ferrous chloride (FeCl2) at 1,100 K and the mass percentage of Fe thus decreased from 31.5 percent in the feed to less than 0.05 percent in the residue, under certain conditions. As a result, high-grade Cu2S was obtained from chalcopyrite in a single step. This new selective chlorination of chalcopyrite using CuCl as a chlorinating agent is therefore feasible for producing high-grade Cu2S.