Recovery of copper from a surface altered chalcopyrite contained ball mill spillage through bio-hydrometallurgical route

Panda S., Rout P. C. , Sarangi C. K. , Mishra S., Pradhan N., Mohapatra U., ...More

KOREAN JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING, vol.31, no.3, pp.452-460, 2014 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11814-013-0261-y
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.452-460


Bioleaching studies for chalcopyrite contained ball mill spillages are very scarce in the literature. We developed a process flow sheet for the recovery of copper metal from surface activated (600 A degrees C, 15 min) ball mill spillage through bio-hydrometallurgical processing route. Bioleaching of the activated sample using a mixed meso-acidophilic bacterial consortium predominantly A. ferrooxidans strains was found to be effective at a lixiviant flow rate of 1.5 L/h, enabling a maximum 72.36% copper recovery in 20 days. Mineralogical as well as morphological changes over the sample surface were seen to trigger the bioleaching efficiency of meso-acidophiles, thereby contributing towards an enhanced copper recovery from the ball mill spillage. The bio-leach liquor containing 1.84 g/L Cu was purified through solvent extraction using LIX 84I in kerosene prior to the recovery of copper metal by electrowinning. Purity of the copper produced through this process was 99.99%.