Behavior of Ga, In, Sn, and Te in Copper Matte Smelting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Geological Survey of Finland


The distributions of Ga, In, Sn, and Te between copper-iron mattes and silica-saturated iron silicate slags over a wide range of matte grades 55 to 75 pct Cu were determined at 1300 °C using a gas-phase equilibration-quenching technique and direct phase composition analysis by Electron Probe X-ray Microanalysis and Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry. Alumina from aluminum, a typical minor element of electric and electronic copper scrap, and lime were adopted as slag modifiers for increasing the trace element recoveries. Gallium and tin were distributed predominantly in the slag, indium preferred sulfide matte at low matte grades and slag at high, whereas tellurium strongly favored the sulfide matte in particular in high matte grades. The slag modifiers alumina and lime had a minor impact on the distribution coefficients of gallium and tin, but for indium and tellurium the distribution coefficients were more strongly affected by the basic oxides. The strong tendencies of tin and tellurium to vaporize at the experimental temperature were confirmed.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2723-2732
Number of pages10
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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