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Copper

Malachite, chemical formula Cu2(CO3)(OH)2, ore fines (100% minus 10mm) containing 25% Cu were smelted together with a carbonaceous reductant and an appropriate slag modifying agent to form metallic copper of 99.3% purity directly – i.e. in a single smelting step and using 1115 kWh per metric ton of ore fines to do so. The chemical reaction was:

Cu2(CO3)(OH)2 + 4C = 2Cu + H2 + 5CO

Consequently, the compositions of the three furnace products obtained were as follows:
 

AMRT melt reduction technology as applied to a malachite ore ex Zambia 

 

 

Furnace input

Furnace products

Copper ore fines
(%)

Metal
(%)

Slag
(%)

Gas
(% by volume)

Cu

25

99.4

0.65

 

Co

0.18

0.07

0.17

 

Fe

3

0.05

5.1

 

SiO2

40

 

53.4

 

CaO

0.5

 

22.5

 

MgO

2

 

4.5

 

Al2O3

1

 

2.1

 

MnO

0.10

 

0.13

 

TiO2

0.02

 

0.02

 

CO2

8.7

 

 

22.3

H2O

3.5

 

 

6.4

Note that since the surface of the molten bath in a melt reduction furnace is always exposed to the surrounding air, all carbon monoxide generated in the chemical reactions is immediately converted to carbon dioxide; i.e.:

CO + ½O2 = CO2

 The same applies to any hydrogen that may be evolved; i.e.:

H2 + ½O2 = H2O

Examples of materials that have been produced by or processed in AMRT’s melt reduction furnaces are:

Copper

Cobalt

Nickel

Tin

Zinc and lead oxide and sulphides

Ferrochromium

Ferromanganese

Ferrotitanium

Precious metal-bearing wastes

Ancillary processes and procedures associated with AMRT’s furnace operations

 

 
 
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