Minerals & Metallurgical Processing

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 133–140 | Cite as

Direct sulfuric acid leaching of zinc sulfide concentrate using ozone as oxidant under atmospheric pressure

  • M. Z. MubarokEmail author
  • K. Sukamto
  • Z. T. Ichlas
  • A. T. Sugiarto


The use of ozone as an oxidant for the direct leaching of zinc sulfide (sphalerite) concentrate in sulfuric acid medium under atmospheric pressure was explored. The influence of acid concentration, feed gas injection rate, particle size distribution, stirring speed, temperature and slurry density on zinc extraction efficiency was examined. The experimental results showed that the leaching efficiency depends on all of these operating parameters except for stirring speed. It was found that essentially complete dissolution of zinc from the concentrate with the present method can be achieved in only about seven hours under the conditions of sulfuric acid concentration of 2 mol/L, particle size smaller than 74 µm, slurry density of 50 g/L, stirring speed of 420 rpm and feed gas injection rate of 1 L/min at ambient temperature. The experimental results suggest that the dissolution reactions produce independent elemental sulfur that is readily floated and can be easily separated rather than forming a layer on the surface of the reacted particle, as usually observed in a system with ferric-sulfate as oxidizing agent. It was therefore determined that the dissolved ozone play a key role in improving the rate of zinc dissolution from the concentrate. Analysis of the leaching kinetics indicate that the leaching rate follows the shrinking particle model, and the overall dissolution rate of zinc is controlled by a surface reaction.


Zinc sulfide concentrate Direct leaching Ozone Extraction Kinetics 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abkhoshk, E., Jorjani, E., Al-Harahsheh, M.S., Rashchi, F., and Naazeri, M., 2014, “Review of the hydrometallurgical processing of non-sulfide zinc ores,” Hydrometallurgy, vol. 149, pp. 153–167, Scholar
  2. Aydogan, S., 2006, “Dissolution kinetics of sphalerite with hydrogen peroxide in sulphuric acid medium,” Chemical Engineering Journal, Vol. 123, No. 3, pp. 65–70, Scholar
  3. Babu, M.N., Sahu, K.K., and Pandey, B.D., 2002, “Zinc recovery from sphalerite concentrate by direct oxidative leaching with ammonium, sodium and potassium persulphates,” Hydrometallurgy, Vol. 64, No. 2, pp. 119–129, Scholar
  4. Berezowsky, R.M.G.S., Collins, M.J., Kerfoot, D.G. E., and Torres, N.. 1991, “The commercial status of pressure leaching technology,” JOM, Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 9–15, Scholar
  5. Carrillo-Pedroza, F.R., Aguilar, M.d.J.S., Martínez Luévanos, A., and González Anaya, J.A., 2007, “Ozonation pretreatment of gold-silver pyritic minerals,” Ozone: Science & Engineering, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 307–313, Scholar
  6. Carrillo-Pedroza, F.R., Aguilar, M.d.J.S., Treviño, T.P., Luévanos, A.M., and Castillo, M.S., 2012, “Treatment of sulfide minerals by oxidative leaching with ozone,” Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 269–279, Scholar
  7. Carrillo-Pedroza, F.R., Sánchez-Castillo, M.A., Soria-Aguilar, M.J., Martínez-Luévanos, A., and Gutiérrez, E.C., 2010, “Evaluation of acid leaching of low grade chalcopyrite using ozone by statistical analysis,” Canadian Metallurgical Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 3, pp. 219–226, Scholar
  8. Crundwell, F.K., 1987, “Kinetics and mechanism of the oxidative dissolution of a zinc sulphide concentrate in ferric sulphate solutions,” Hydrometallurgy, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 227–242, Scholar
  9. Dutrizac, J.E., 2006, “The dissolution of sphalerite in ferric sulfate media,” Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 161–171, Scholar
  10. Dutta, S.K., and Lodhari, D.R., 2018, Extraction of Nuclear and Non-ferrous Metals, Springer Nature, Scholar
  11. Filippou, D., 2004, “Innovative hydrometallurgical processes for the primary processing of zinc,” Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review, Vol. 25, No. 3, pp. 205–252, Scholar
  12. Fugleberg, S., and Järvinen, A., 2002, “Method for Leaching Zinc Concentrate in Atmospheric Conditions,” Google Patents.Google Scholar
  13. González-Anaya, J.A., Nava-Alonso, F., and Pecina-Treviño, E.T., 2011, “Use of ozone for gold extraction from a highly refractory concentrate,” Ozone: Science & Engineering, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 42–49, Scholar
  14. Graf, G.G., 1997, “Zinc,” Handbook of Extractive Metallurgy, F. Habashi, ed., Wiley-VCH.Google Scholar
  15. Griffith, W.A., Day, H.E., Jordon, T.S., and Nyman, V.C., 1975, “Development of the roast-leach-electrowin process for Lakeshore,” JOM, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 17–25, Scholar
  16. Haakana, T., Saxén, B., Lehtinen, L., Takala, H., Lahtinen, M., Svens, K., Ruonala, M., and Gongming, X., 2008, “Outotec direct leaching application in China,” Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 108, No. 5, pp. 245–251.Google Scholar
  17. Harvey, T.J., Van Der Merwe, W., and Afewu, K., 2002, “The application of the GeoBiotics GEOCOAT biooxidation technology for the treatment of sphalerite at Kumba resources’ Rosh Pinah mine,” Minerals Engineering, Vol. 15, No. 11, pp. 823–829, Scholar
  18. Havlik, T., Dvorscikova, J., Lvanova, Z., and Kammel, R., 1999, “Sulphuric acid chalcopyrite leaching using ozone as oxidant,” Metall, Vol. 53, No. 1–2, pp. 57–60.Google Scholar
  19. Havlik, T., and Skrobian, M., 1990, “Acid Leaching of Chalcopyrite in the Presence of Ozone,” Canadian Metallurgical Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 133–139, Scholar
  20. Hourn, M.M., Turner, D.W., and Holzberger, I.R., 1999, “Atmospheric Mineral Leaching Process,” Google Patents.Google Scholar
  21. Lampinen, M., Laari, A., and Turunen, I., 2015, “Kinetic model for direct leaching of zinc sulfide concentrates at high slurry and solute concentration,” Hydrometallurgy, Vol. 153, pp. 160–169, Scholar
  22. Levanov, A.V., Kuskov, I.V., Antipenko, E.E., and Lunin, V.V., 2008, “The solubility of ozone in aqueous solutions of sulfuric, phosphoric, and perchloric acids,” Russian Journal of Physical Chemistry A, Focus on Chemistry, Vol. 82, No. 7, pp. 1126–1131, Scholar
  23. Li, Q., Li, D., and Qian, F., 2009, “Pre-oxidation of high-sulfur and high-arsenic refractory gold concentrate by ozone and ferric ions in acidic media,” Hydrometallurgy, Vol. 97, No. 1–2, pp. 61–66, Scholar
  24. Lizama, H.M., Harlamovs, J.R., Bélanger, S., and Brienne, S.H., 2003, “The Teck Cominco Hydrozinc Process,” C. Young, A. Alfantazi, C. Anderson, A. James, D. Dreisinger, and B. Harris, eds., Electrometallurgy and Environmental Hydrometallurgy, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Google Scholar
  25. Lochmann, J., and Pedlik, M., 1995, “Kinetic anomalies of dissolution of sphalerite in ferric sulfate solution,” Hydrometallurgy, Vol. 37, No. 1, pp. 89–96, Scholar
  26. Markus, H., Fugleberg, S., Valtakari, D., Salmi, T., Murzin, D.Y., and Lahtinen, M., 2004, “Reduction of ferric to ferrous with sphalerite concentrate, kinetic modelling,” Hydrometallurgy, Vol. 73, No. 3–4, pp. 269–282, Scholar
  27. Morris, J.C., 1988, “The aqueous solubility of ozone- A review,” Ozone News, Vol. 16, pp. 14–16.Google Scholar
  28. Pecina, T., Franco, T., Castillo, P., and Orrantia, E., 2008, “Leaching of a zinc concentrate in H2SO4 solutions containing H2O2 and complexing agents,” Minerals Engineering, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 23–30, Scholar
  29. Peng, P., Xie, H., and Lu, L., 2005, “Leaching of a sphalerite concentrate with H2SO4-HNO3 solutions in the presence of C2Cl4,” Hydrometallurgy, Vol. 80, No. 4, pp. 265–271, Scholar
  30. Perez, I.P., and Dutrizac, J.E., 1991, “The effect of the iron content of sphalerite on its rate of dissolution in ferric sulphate and ferric chloride media,” Hydrometallurgy, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 211–232, Scholar
  31. Ralston, O.C., 1921, Electrolytic Deposition and Hydrometallurgy of Zinc, McGraw-Hill Book Co. Inc., New York.Google Scholar
  32. Rath, R.K., and Subramanian, 1999, “Adsorption, electrokinetic and differential flotation studies on sphalerite and galena using dextrin,” International Journal of Mineral Processing, Vol. 57, Issue 4, pp. 265–283, Scholar
  33. Sahu, S.K., Sahu, K.K., and Pandey, B.D., 2006, “Leaching of zinc sulfide concentrate from the Ganesh-Himal deposit of Nepal,” Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B, Vol. 37, No. 4, pp. 541–549, Scholar
  34. Sinclair, R.J., 2005, The Extractive Metallurgy of Zinc, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Victoria, Australia.Google Scholar
  35. Sotelo, J.L., Beltrán, F.J., Benitez, F.J., and Beltrán-Heredia, J., 1989, “Henry’s law constant for the ozone-water system,” Water Research, Vol. 23, No. 10, pp. 1239–1246, Scholar
  36. Souza, A.D., Pina, P.S., Leão, V.A., Silva, C.A., and Siqueira, P.F. 2007, “The leaching kinetics of a zinc sulphide concentrate in acid ferric sulphate,” Hydrometallurgy, Vol. 89, No. 1, pp. 72–81, Scholar
  37. Steemson, M.L., Sheehan, G.J., Winborne, D.A., and Wong, F.S., 1994, “An Integrated Bioleach/Solvent Extraction Process for Zinc Metal Production from Zinc Concentrates,” Google Patents.Google Scholar
  38. Van Put, J.W., Terwinghe, F.M.I.G., and De Nys, T.S.A., 1999, “Process for the Extraction of Zinc from sulphide Concentrates,” Google Patents.Google Scholar
  39. Verbaan, B., and Crundwell, F.K., 1986, “An electrochemical model for the leaching of a sphalerite concentrate,” Hydrometallurgy, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 345–359, Scholar
  40. Wills, B.A., and Finch, J.A., 2016, Wills’ Mineral Processing Technology: An Introduction to the Practical Aspects of Ore Treatment and Mineral Recovery, Eighth Edition, Elsevier.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Z. Mubarok
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. Sukamto
    • 2
  • Z. T. Ichlas
    • 1
  • A. T. Sugiarto
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Metallurgical Engineering, Faculty of Mining and Petroleum EngineeringInstitut Teknologi BandungBandungIndonesia
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural SciencesUniversitas Negeri GorontaloGorontaloIndonesia
  3. 3.Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)BandungIndonesia

Personalised recommendations