Effect of Cooling Rate and Slag Modification on the Copper Matte in Smelting Slag

Xiang Gao, Zhuo Chen, Junjie Shi, Pekka Taskinen, Ari Jokilaakso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The amount of copper flash smelting slag has increased during the recent years along with an increasing slag-to-metal ratio. During slag tapping, some copper sulfide is mechanically entrained. As a result, it is necessary to recover copper matte from the slag by suitable methods. At present, the most common way is slow, controlled cooling in a transfer ladle. However, research on the detailed effects of slow cooling and the function of slag modification is rare. This paper described experiments that were performed at different cooling rates (0.5, 1.5, 3, and 7 °C/min), with and without additive. A detailed characterization of the copper-rich phase and its particle size was subsequently made using SEM-EDS micrographs and image analysis software. With a decrease in cooling rate, the particle size of the copper-rich matte phase became larger. The addition of gypsum and carbon as a slag modifier affected the size of the copper-rich phase slightly, and its chemical composition was modified compared with the experiments without additive.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMining, Metallurgy and Exploration
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Jul 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Copper matte
  • Image analysis
  • Ladle cooling
  • Slag cleaning

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