Primary Copper Smelter and Refinery as a Recycling Plant—A System Integrated Approach to Estimate Secondary Raw Material Tolerance

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Abstract

The primary production of sulfide concentrates includes smelting to copper matte or blister copper, conversion of matte to blister copper, and refining to copper. Smelting, converting, and fire-refining can use a limited amount of secondary materials. Molten copper can effectively dissolve many metals, from valuable noble metals to harmful impurities such as bismuth. However, some of the impurity metals in copper are valuable in other applications. In this paper, we outline the main material flows in copper smelting and electrorefining and describe how minor metals can be recovered from secondary raw materials using copper as a carrier material. We will use a system integrated approach to define the factors that affect the recovery of different metals and copper quality. Metals typical in copper production are used as examples, like noble metals, As, Bi, Se, and Te, including metals in the EU critical raw materials list like PGM and Sb
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalRecycling
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2017
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Keywords

  • copper scrap
  • WEEE
  • carrier metal
  • impurities
  • cathode quality

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