Hydrometallurgy Process for Copper-cobalt Ore

Hydrometallurgy Process for Copper-cobalt Ore


As a basic metal and a global bulk metal, copper metal is one of the main consumer metals in the world and is widely used in electrical, electronic, machinery manufacturing, construction, national defense and other industrial fields. Copper is the most widely used and used in the electrical and electronic industries, and the coils, wires, and cables of generators are all made of copper. Copper can be used to manufacture various bullets, guns, heat exchangers of aircraft and ships, and also used to manufacture bearings, pistons, switches, valves and high-pressure steam equipment, etc., and other thermal engineering, cooling devices, civil equipment, etc. are also widely used Copper and copper alloys are used.

Metal cobalt has ferromagnetism and ductility, as well as good electrochemical properties. Compared with other metal alloys, it has the characteristics of high temperature strength, good heat resistance, high hardness, and corrosion resistance. It is an important raw material for high-quality alloys, anti-corrosion alloys, magnetic alloys and various cobalt salts.

In 2019, the global market size of the cobalt industry exceeded 120,000 tons, and it is expected to be close to 200,000 tons by 2025. From 2016 to 2020, the global cobalt consumption increased by 56,900 tons, of which power batteries accounted for 48.9%, and 3C batteries accounted for 30.8%. With the recovery of smartphone shipments, the rapid development of new energy vehicles, and lithium battery technology gradually becoming the mainstream technology route of the energy storage industry, the lithium battery industry will further expand, and the overall industry shipments will increase significantly in the next 3-5 years , leading to a steady growth in the demand for cobalt metal.

Why choose hydrometallurgy process

  • 01The extraction rate of copper and cobalt is high, and the recovery rate of associated metals is also high;
  • 02The production line process is more flexible;
  • 03The process of hydrometallurgy is fully automated, easy to operate and easy to manage and maintain;
  • 04The energy consumption of the extraction equipment is small, which is more energy-saving and environmentally friendly;
  • 05The effect of hydrometallurgy method is good, the cost of investment capital is small, and the rate of return is high.

The process of Copper-cobalt ore hydrometallurgy

01Grinding process

The open-pit copper-cobalt oxide ore is mined and transported to the storage yard by dump truck for ore blending. The prepared ore enters the first coarse crushing process from the feeding port. After the ore passes through the feeder, the processing capacity of the jaw crusher is controlled to crush the ore to the required particle size. The coarsely crushed ore is transported to the transfer bin through the belt conveyor. The ore in the transfer bin is fed by the feeder to the belt conveyor and then sent to the ball mill. The ball mill wet-grinds the ore and reaches the required particle size, then sends the ore to the thickener for concentration, and then the ore enters the filtration process for liquid-solid separation.

02Leaching process

Add sulfuric acid to the leaching tank to neutralise the calcium and magnesium in the ore, and control the terminal PH at 1.5 to 2.0. According to the amount of cobalt metal leached, pass pure sulphur dioxide reductant continuously, and control the redox potential of the solution at less than 400 millivolt, and leach for at least 5 hours. After reaching the end point of leaching, it is discharged into a thickener to concentrate, and the supernatant overflows to the extraction buffer pool, and the cobalt leaching solution enters a multi-stage buffer pool for natural sedimentation and separation, removing the suspended large particles in the solution and then sending it to the extraction system to remove copper.

3.1Extraction process

The cobalt liquid enters the extraction mixing chamber, mixes with the organic phase and then copper is transferred into the organic phase. After the reaction, the mixed image enters the clarification chamber to settle and separate. Copper is transferred to the electro-rich liquid and sent to the electrowinning process, and the remaining liquid is sent to the iron removal process.

3.2Electrowinning process

The copper electro-rich liquid obtained after extraction and reverse extraction is sent to the electrowinning process. Reverse extraction rich liquid through the heat exchanger, maintain the temperature, pumped into the high level tank into the electrolysis tank, precipitation of copper in the cathode, after a cycle of output electrolysis copper

04Iron removal process

Add hydrated lime to the cobalt solution after copper extraction and adjust the PH to 4.0, and at the same time, pass the mixture of air and sulfur dioxide, oxidise the iron ions to 3-valent iron ions and then hydrolyse and precipitate, with the control potential of more than 550 millivolts.

05Cobalt precipitation process

After iron removal, the liquid is sent to a section of cobalt sinking process after precision filtration, the cobalt sinking process affects the product index is the magnesium content in the product, the activity of magnesium oxide is at least more than 85%, preferably more than 90%, so that the quality of cobalt can be done more than 40%. Magnesium oxide slurry needs to be ready to use, to ensure that it is used up within 2 hours,in addition, the cobalt sinking process also needs to strictly control the end point PH value. Cobalt precipitation before liquid, cobalt concentration in 6 grams of litres or so, the end point PH control in 7.4, different cobalt concentration precipitation PH value has a small fluctuation, cobalt precipitation section at least retain 0.3 grams of litres of cobalt concentration, can ensure that the cobalt precipitation has a higher quality, cobalt precipitation time needs to be controlled in 6 hours.

06 Washing process

The filter cake moisture of cobalt hydroxide contains a large amount of free magnesium ions, and the magnesium ions in the filter cake are washed and removed by repeated washing, at least three times.

07Drying process

After dehydration, the filter cake still contains more than 40% of moisture, and the export transportation cost is high, so it needs to be dried to remove most of the moisture. It is better to control the moisture content at about 10%. After the moisture reaches the standard, a qualified cobalt hydroxide finished product will be obtained.

Why Choose Mecru

Henan Mecru Heavy Industry Technology Co., Ltd. is located in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, which is divided into office area and factory area, covers an area of 35,000 square meters, including more than 30,000 square meters of factory area. The company has more than 200 employees. Mecru Heavy Industry Technology Co.,LTD. is a manufacturer and specialized in research, production, and sales of intelligent crushing and screening plant. As a promoter of the sand and gravel aggregate processing and mineral materials processing industries, MECRU is making efforts to provide customers with the best technology, equipment and services.

MECRU with its products and services of high quality and differentiation to achieve immortality, and to promote the process of enterprise brand promotion. Staff to good conduct for development, the pursuit of better quality is our unremitting efforts to the goal.

MECRU has a perfect pre-sale, sale, after-sales service, is committed to providing excellent service for customers. From international trade marketing and promotion to international trade negotiations, and to technical service and after-sales support, MECRU has gradually established its own trade service system, serving many countries and regions at home and abroad.

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