Peacey, John G. Centre de Recherche Noranda, Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada.
Last reviewed:February 2022
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- Copper smelting
- Matte converting
- Sulfur fixation
- Hydrometallurgical processes
- Recycling of copper
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The extraction and refining of copper (Cu) from its ores. About 18 million metric tons per year of copper metal is produced from the mining and processing of copper ores, typically containing only about 1% Cu. About 80% of the world's primary copper is produced from ores containing copper-iron sulfide minerals, predominately chalcopyrite (CuFeS2). Copper can only be recovered economically from chalcopyrite by high-temperature pyrometallurgical processing in copper smelters. The remaining copper is produced by heap leaching and hydrometallurgical processing from ores containing oxidized copper minerals and chalcocite (Cu2S). See also: Copper; Hydrometallurgy; Pyrometallurgy, nonferrous; Sulfide and arsenide minerals
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