Dissolution of copper and nickel from nickel-rich anode slimes under oxidized pressure leaching

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • Solutions for Natural Resources and Environment
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland


Anode slimes are valuable by-products in the electrolytic copper refinery process. This study aimed to investigate maximum extraction efficiency of Cu and Ni from slimes originating from the electrorefining of anodes containing high [Ni]. In addition, the extractions of Se, Te, As and Bi were determined. A factorial leaching series was conducted with T = 140–160°C, [H2SO4] = 12–20%, pO2= 2–8 bars and solid/liquid ratio = 200–400 g/L. The highest Ni extraction of 99.7% was obtained with [H2SO4] = 20%, pO2 = 8 bar and T = 160°C while maintaining S/L ratio of 200 g/L. The extraction of copper was found to be within 97–99% in all the leaching experiments. Increasing acidity and decreasing S/L ratio increased the efficiency of Cu extraction. Mineralogical characterizations by SEM-EDX demonstrated the presence of Ag2Se, BaSO4, PbSO4 and several oxide phases in the leach residue.


Original languageEnglish
JournalMineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy: Transactions of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Autoclave, copper electrorefining, extraction efficiency, hydrometallurgy, modelling, secondary metal sources, sulphuric acid leaching, valorization

ID: 38732245