REWAS 2013 pp 54-68 | Cite as

Characterization of Copper Slag

  • X. Wang
  • D. Geysen
  • S. V. Padilla T.
  • N. D’Hoker
  • T. Van Gerven
  • B. Blanpain


Copper slag can be treated as a secondary resource since it usually contains a substantial amount of copper and other valuable metals. Characterization of the slags to determine the expected metal recovery is essential for the design of separation flow sheets. In this study, the chemical and mineralogical composition of a copper slag from El Teniente, Chile were characterized. The copper content of the fayalite based slag is around 0.87 wt% which is higher than for certain copper ores. Copper exists as sulfides in the form of droplets in the slag. The content and particle size distribution of the major sulfide phases (bornite, chalcopyrite and chalcocite) were quantified using analytical scanning electron microscopy (QEMSCAN). The copper bearing particles have a wide particle size distribution from a few microns up to mm level. Large copper bearing particles (> 100 µm) are composed mainly of bornite and chalcocite and tend to accumulate in the lower part of the slag layer. As characterized with X-ray computed tomography (CT), around 70 volume% of copper value exist in these large copper bearing particles.

Key words

copper slag recovery copper sulfides particles 


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Copyright information

© TMS (The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • X. Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. Geysen
    • 1
  • S. V. Padilla T.
    • 1
  • N. D’Hoker
    • 2
  • T. Van Gerven
    • 2
  • B. Blanpain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Metallurgy and Materials EngineeringKU LeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringKU LeuvenBelgium

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