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Waste Treatment and Utilization in Heavy Metal Metallurgy

Jiang Kaixi BGRIMM Apr. 12-13, 2012, Santiago, Chile

Production of top ten non-ferrous metals in China Ranking the position 1 for 9 years in the world; 34.24 million tons in 2011; Forecasting: 46 million tons in 2015.
50 45 40 35

25 20 15 10 5 0 2006 2011 19.17 million tons 34.24 million tons

46 million tons


800 mil t waste water discharged into environment in 2011; 220 kt dust in off-gas emission annually. 310 mil t solid waste annually.

Founded in 1956, ca. 3800 employees, but only 1000 professionals;
A state-owned enterprise administrated by SASAC the State Asset Supervision and Administration Commission. A main Chinese technology supplier of innovative technologies, technical and engineering service in mining and metallurgy for nonferrous metals. Research & Development Consulting & Engineering Manufacturing

Chemical Analysis
Online Instruments & Automation

Mining Engineering

Explosives & Blasting Engineering

Mineral Engineering

Resources Evaluation & Mineralogy Metallurgy Engineering & Recycling




Metallurgy Department

Pyro- and hydrometallurgy Copper bath smelting (a side-blown) technology; Lead flash smelting; Fluidized-bed roasting for zinc, cobalt pyrite and arsenic containing gold concentrates, etc. Direct reduction iron; Process R&D for nickel laterite; Leaching (pressure, heap, tank leaching); SX and ion exchange; EW and electrolysis; Slurry electrolysis;

Metallurgy Department
Valuable metals comprehensive recovery like rare metal extraction of metallurgical flow-sheets; Waste treatment and utilization; Oceanic mineral resource metallurgy; Secondary metal resource recycling; Recycling of PGMs in BGRIMM-Xuzhou Institute of Metal Recycling.

Solid wastes utilization

Copper metallurgy

Copper Metallurgy Slag treatment:

Dressing is the trend -- Flotation: also for smelting slags from Flash furnace and local smelting processes -- High copper recovery; -- Low energy consumption; -- Cost: about 2-2.5kg Cu per 1t slag; -- Magnetite from converting slags (50-55% Fe in iron conc. ).

Copper industry
Slag Size: 80% -0.074mm

Size: 80% -0.038mm

Copper concentrates



Copper industry

Practice in Guixi Smelter of Jiang Copper:

Copper slag: Cu 1.82%, Fe 40.98%, Pb 0.85%, Zn 2.64%;

Copper grade in concentrate: 29.93%; Copper recovery: 87.48%; Copper in tailings: 0.24%; Operation cost: 100 RMB/t slag, total cost ca. 2kg copper.


Copper industry Arsenic waste treatment:

More than 10kt arsenic goes into copper smelter every year in China; About 60% arsenic goes into SO2 gas; Arsenic wastes: (1) Arsenic sulphide residue, 15-25% As (2) Flue dust, 0.1-4% As

(3) Black copper slime, 20-25%As


Copper industry
BGRIMM developed Pressure Leaching Technology
2As2S3+ 6H2O+5O2 6S+4H3AsO4
2CuS+2H2SO4+O2 2S + 2CuSO4 + 2H2O

Low operation cost; High metal recovery; Cleaning process/Environmental friendly; Cu\As\Bi\Re\Ag\Au\S recovery.

Copper industry
This technology was adopted in Guixi Smelter to replace copper sulfate cementation process (Sumitomo process). It was commissioned in 2008. Capacity: 2000t-As2O3/a Recovery: As >95% into product Cu >95% Re >90%
Pressure leaching plant for arsenic sulfide cake 15

Copper industry
BGRIMM also developed the process to treat arsenic sulphide cake and black copper mud for Tongling Copper Smelter. It is becoming a standard process for copper smelters.


Copper industry

Recovery of rare and precious metals from flue dusts and anode slimes -- Mo, Re, Ge, In from dusts;

-- Se and Te from anode slimes;

-- Au, Ag and PGMs from anode slimes;

-- Sb, Bi from both.



Copper industry
Pressure leaching
In XiangGuang Copper, the anode slime treatment capacity is 2400t/a. Guixi and Tong Ling Kaldo process was put into production in 2009, with anode slime treatment capacity 4000t/a. The recovery of Au and Ag is over 99%.

Copper industry
Crude selenium To produce Se or SeO2
Copper telluride Process: alkaline leaching -neutralization -- electrolysis Products: refined Te Recovery: Te >92%


Zinc metallurgy


Zinc industry
Problems of the Jarosite process

Large quantity residues;

High zinc lost;
30 million tons piled

1 million tons per year

Contain 1.5 million tons zinc (5%)

Rare metals>3000t

Instability and potential pollution.


Zinc industry
First stage hot acid leaching solution BGRIMM developed new process to avoid producing jarosite residue in zinc metallurgy Residue Leaching solution

Pressure leaching

Zinc concentrate


Go to lead smelter Recirculated to neutral leaching stage


Zinc industry
Jarosite process Output Zinc recovery Operation cost Iron residue Zinc in residue 100kt 90-92% 4300RMB/tZn 70-80kt/a 6% Pressure leaching process 130kt 95% 4150RMB/tZn 30-35kt/a 2-3%


Zinc industry
Recovery of rare and precious metals:
Rotary kiln volatilization process in Zhuzhou and Laibin, etc.
Ge, In, Zn goes to dust;

Ga remains in slag;
Ge recovery less than 55%; Ga recovery less than 10%;

Ag recovery less than 20%.


Zinc industry
Indium recovery

BGRIMM developed a indium recovery process with iron removal as hematite Laibin Zinc Plant. Recovery: Zn 96%, In 87%. Pilot test finished

Zinc industry
SO2 reductive pressure leaching for recovery of Ga and Ge: BGRIMM developed SO2 reductive leaching process to recover Ga and Ge from zinc leaching residues:

Leaching conducted in autoclave at 105C;

Zn, Fe, Ga and Ge into leaching solution; Pb and Ag remain in residue, Ag is enriched more than 2000g/t; Fe3+ is less than 0.2g/L.

Zinc industry
SO2 reductive leaching for recovery of Ga and Ge: Ga and Ge precipitated by limestone; SX for separation of Ga and Ge; G315 was used as extractant produced by BGRIMM.


Zinc industry
SO2 reductive leaching for recovery of Ga and Ge: Recovery: Zn 90%, Ga 85%, Ge 78%, Pb 98%, Ag 99%; Pb-Ag residue can be enriched more than 10 times; Lab and pilot tests were finished by BGRIMM and Fankou Lead and Zinc Mine.


Zinc industry
Two stages pressure leaching for Ga and Ge recovery:

Low temperature and pressure leaching with weak oxiation at First stage to reduce Fe3+ in solution
High teperature and pressure leaching to ensure zinc recovery at second leaching stage Precipitation Ga and Ge from first stage leaching solution


Lead metallurgy


Lead industry
Lead processes: Sintering - blast furnace ISP Kivcet process QSL process SKS process Ausmelt/ISA Kaldo furnace Hua Bao flash smelting (BGRIMM)


Lead industry
Hua Bao flash smelting technology:
Developed by BGRIMM Low capital and operation cost

Low energy consumption

Wide flexibility of raw materials High metal recovery for Pb, Zn, Ag, etc.


Lead industry
Pb and Zn combined smelter is a trend for metal recovery
Pb-Ag residue Zinc leaching residue

Lead smelter
Zinc dust

Zinc plant


Solid wastes treatment will become a focus after the problems of gas, dusts and waste water are solved; Joint technology by mineral process and metallurgy is the trend for metal recovery from wastes; Copper, lead and zinc complex smelter may be the trend for interchange materials or wastes to recovery metals and reduce slag and residues quantity; Hazardous waste (arsenic, cadium residues, etc) should be treated by advanced and clean process like pressure leaching; Jarosite process should be replaced by pressure leaching; Spent lead battery should be treated combined with lead concentrate by advanced flash smelting process.