Development of a copper arsenate process for Inco's Manitoba Division
As part of an over-all arsenic management strategy, Inco has developed a novel process that converts a by-product high moisture copper/arsenic sulphide precipitate into a crystalline copper arsenate suitable for the manufacture of wood preservation chemicals.
The copper/arsenic sulphide precipitate is atmospherically leached with oxygen and sulphuric acid, producing a crude (blue) copper arsenate precipitate, elemental sulphur, and a copper and nickel containing solution. The blue copper arsenate is dissolved with sulphuric acid, the molar Cu/As ratio is raised to 2, and a crystalline copper arsenate (olivenite) is precipitated by the addition of sodium carbonate. Dissolved copper is recovered using metallic nickel (or matte) and elemental sulphur, to produce a low-moisture (low-arsenic) precipitate suitable for standard nickel-copper processing.
The process was successfully piloted at Inco's Manitoba Division between September 1990 and June 1991. The copper arsenate product typically analyzed 43 % Cu and 25 % As, and the moisture content was about 10%.
Process development, Copper arsenate process, Arsenic management, Inco Manitoba Division.