Non-Ferrous Metals and PGM Recovery from Low-Grade Copper–Nickel Concentrate by Bioleaching and Further Cyanidation

Elena Latyuk, Vitaliy Melamud, Anatoly Lavrinenko, Dmitriy Makarov, Aleksandr Bulaev
2022 Minerals  
The aim of the present work was to perform copper, nickel, and platinum group metals (PGMs) recovery from low-grade copper–nickel concentrate containing pyrrhotite, pentlandite, and chalcopyrite by bioleaching in stirred tank reactors in batch mode and subsequent cyanidation. The concentrate contained (%) Fe 32.7, Cu 0.7, Ni 2.3, Stotal 20.9, Ssulfide 17, 0.1 g/t Pt, and 1.35 g/t Pd. The bioleaching was performed at 30 and 40 °C using two different microbial consortia. At 30 °C, bioleaching was
more » ... performed using mixed culture including Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans strains isolated from the sample of acid mine drainage from copper–nickel deposit. At 40 °C, bioleaching was performed using microbial population formed during long-term bioleaching of copper-zinc concentrate at 40 °C. Bioleaching was performed for 40 days at pulp density of 10% (solid to liquid ratio 1:10). At 30 °C, 70% Ni and 14% Cu were leached, while 72% Ni and 34% Cu were recovered in the solution at 40 °C. PGM were extracted from the concentrate and bioleaching residue obtained at 40 °C by cyanidation. Cyanidation made it possible to extract 5.5% Pt and 17.3% Pd from the concentrate and 37.8% Pt and 87.8% Pd from the bioleaching residue. Thus, it was shown that the concentrate studied might be processed using bioleaching and subsequent cyanidation to extract both non-ferrous metals and PGM.
doi:10.3390/min12030340 fatcat:ep4rua6runbjpjov3snipj6zjy