Phase relations in the Cu2S-FeS-ZnS and Cu2S-PbS-ZnS ternary systems at 1473°K: Extraction of zinc from sulphide ore using liquid copper as a reagent

Abstract The use of liquid copper as a medium for
zinc extraction has been used in the Warner
Process as a method of processing zinc-lead
sulphide ore. The recovery of zinc metal is
based on the reaction: ZnS(s) + 2Cu(l) = Zn(g) + Cu2S(l) In this method, thermodynamic and phase equilibria investigations of the Cu2S-FeS-ZnS and Cu2S-PbS-ZnS systems are of importance and form the basis for the liquid sulphide phase which appears as a product and is used as a solvent in the Warner Process. Phase relations in the Cu2S-FeS-ZnS and Cu2S-PbS-ZnS ternary
systems were determined experimentally at
1473°K to provide a fundamental basis for the
new zinc smelting process. The results show that the solid solubility of ZnS in the two systems is very small (2 wt% to 3 wt% ZnS in FeS, 4 wt% ZnS in Cu2S for the u2S-FeS-ZnS system; less than 0.5 wt% ZnS in both PbS and Cu2S for the Cu2S-PbS-ZnS system).
The Raoultian Activity Coefficient of ZnS in
the liquid mixtures and the vapour pressure of
zinc over the matte in both systems is relatively large (g° = 7.7 – 15.8, Pzn(atm) = 0.088 – 1.026 or the Cu2S-FeS-ZnS system; g° = 8.9 – 12.9, PZn(atm) = 0.075 – 0.214 for the Cu2S-PbS-ZnS system). On the FeS-ZnS join, the only phases detected are FeS and iron-rich sphalerite (Zn, Fe)S. The binary join mixture occurs at about 92 wt% FeS-8 wt% ZnS at 1473°K. Electron microprobe
examination of the quenched samples
indicate about 47 wt% to 48 wt% FeS in sphalerite and about 2 wt% to 3 wt% ZnS in the iron sulphide phase. On the Cu2S-ZnS join, microprobe analysis reveals that the maximum solubility is 4 wt% Zn in liquid Cu2S and 3.6 wt% Cu in solid ZnS. In the Cu2S-PbS-ZnS ternary system, microprobe analysis of the quenched samples indicate on average, 5 wt% ZnS in the liquid phase region. The only phases detected on the PbS- ZnS join are ZnS and PbS. The eutectic phase contains, on average, 13 wt% ZnS. The phase relationships, very low solid solubilities of zinc sulphide in the liquid mixtures of both Cu2S-FeS-ZnS and Cu2S-PbS-ZnS systems, coupled with the high Raoultian Activity
Coefficient of ZnS as well as the high vapour
pressure of zinc over matte all favour the partitioning of zinc metal into the vapour phase. This new process is cost effective and bypasses the expensive and tedious conventional technique of zinc production involving oxidation of the sulphide ore by roasting followed by a reduction process to extract the zinc. The results indicate that a new zinc smelting technology using the Warner Process would be more efficient and preferable over the traditional methods of zinc extraction.
Keywords: Extraction, Sulphide, Zinc, Liquid copper, Smelting
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Summary: Mineral exploration properties are those
on which an economically viable mineral
deposit has not yet been discovered. Such
properties are bought, sold, optioned and joint
ventured on the basis of their perceived potential for the existence and discovery of a viable mineral deposit. The intrinsic value of an exploration property is therefore based on the exploration potential. One measure of the
exploration potential is the amount that can be
justified to spend on exploration for a viable
depo...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): W.E. Roscoe
Keywords: Valuation, Mineral resources, Exploration properties, Appraised value method
Issue: 1059
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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Summary: This paper deals with the stability investigations carried out at the XIVth seam of Jitpur colliery. The study was conducted to investigate the possible causes of roof cavity formation and face spalling at the middle slice face of block-3 longwall panel and to suggest remedial measures. The instrumentation and monitoring work was carried out in the panel over a period of nine months. On the basis of observations, it was found that if the maximum face span was reduced from the existing 4.8 m...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): A.K. Singh, R. Singh, M. Sarkar, P.K. Mandal, D. Sharma
Keywords: Stability, Slicing, Face spalling, Roof cavity formation, Extraction, Longwall mining
Issue: 1059
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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Summary: A series of new, grease-based, solventfree
open gear lubricants were developed to
meet the demanding service requirements of
mining equipment. The use of these products
has resulted in better performance under conditions of temperature extremes and in terms of longer component lives. They have gained widespread acceptance within the mining communities for such applications as the lubrication of mining shovels, draglines and ball mills. These products are WHMIS non-controlled and are environme...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): N. Samman, S.N. Lau
Keywords: Mining, Open gear, Gear lubricant, Grease, Multi-service
Issue: 1059
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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Summary: Coal shearers are one of the major
sources of dust and fines in underground coal
mines. Despite considerable research investigations, no comprehensive in situ investigations coupled with extensive laboratory studies on the effects of drum design on generation of dust and fines have been found. It may be for this reason that many major shearer drum manufacturers persistently employ a certain drum-lacing pattern on current coal shearers, which is believed to cause excessive dust and fines in...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): O.Z. Hekimoglu, B. Tiryaki, M. Ayhan
Keywords: Underground mining, Shearer drums, Dust, Fines, Coal mines, Tunnelling
Issue: 1059
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
Text
Summary: The valuation of mineral properties in the
U.S. is only partially regulated. The regulations
which have jurisdiction or impact appear to
have such mainly as a consequence of unintended fallout, since the regulations were
designed for other purposes. Court case history can also be important. The combined results are a mixture of bad and good, with important lessons to be learned. Since 1981, the Securities and Exchange Commission has prohibited U.S. listed companies from reporting quantitative...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): T.R. Ellis
Keywords: Valuation, Mineral properties, Regulations, Standards
Issue: 1059
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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