ProProcess has expanded on its well established modular plant technology, which compliments primary copper cathode production. The objectives of the modular copper sulphate production plant concept are:
- To offer small and medium sized copper oxide concentrate producers an alternative process flow sheet to more conventional dense media separation (DMS) or artisanal hand sorting copper processing methodologies. In this respect, the copper sulphate route offers an opportunity to better utilise the total available copper resource by stakeholders, with less copper losses to tailings.
- To offer established main-stream copper cathode producers additional copper feed, arising from the processing of secondary oxide ore concessions situated in remote satellite locations.
The copper sulphate process flow sheet incorporates standard heap leach and copper solvent extraction (SX) technology, with copper sulphate crystallization.
The modular approach allows for flexibility in plant design-nameplate implementation.
This is particularly attractive for phased project execution and can be tailored to client short-term and expansion requirements. The plant unit operations are designed to minimise site preparation and operating infrastructure. The skid-mounted design approach for all unit operations, offers additional options to operators for plant relocation to subsequent satellite sites.
Copper sulphate product can be marketed as a wet pulp, for sulphate-exchange contracts to copper cathode producing end-users, or as a dried copper sulphate (CuSO4.5H2O) powder.
Copper sulphate production is attractive for copper cathode producers that have additional solvent extraction (SX) capacity available in their existing operations. In these scenarios, the copper sulphate production facility can supplement copper units to the cathode producer, without impacting negatively on the overall sulphate balance of the primary leach, SX, cathode operation. The model also favours copper cathode producers that have the capacity to supply the sulphuric acid required for the crystallization process.