Effects of Some Additives on Copper Losses to Matte Smelting Slag


JOM, vol.68, no.9, pp.2323-2331, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 68 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11837-016-1825-1
  • Journal Name: JOM
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2323-2331
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Copper is lost to slag between 0.7 and 2.3 wt.% during the industrial copper matte smelting stage. In the present study, the aim was to minimize these losses in the slag phase by adding some fluxing agents like CaO, B2O3 and calcium borate (namely colemanite-2CaO center dot 3B(2)O(3)center dot 5H(2)O). Eti Copper Inc. (EBI) flash furnace smelter slag containing 0.88 wt.%Cu and matte with the addition each of CaO, B2O3 and colemanite up to 10 wt.% of the total charge were melted in a silica crucible placed in a vertical tube furnace at 1250A degrees C under nitrogen atmosphere for 2 h. The experimental results of matte-slag-flux mixtures showed that the addition of all additives up to 4 wt.% led to a gradual decrease of the copper content in the final slags. Beyond this value, the copper losses to slag increased markedly with the increasing CaO and B2O3 additions. On the other hand, the colemanite addition of more than 4 wt.% did not substantially affect the copper losses to slag.