Jones, Frank; Kutz, Douglas
College of Engineering and Computer Science
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Mining industry is heavily invested in mining various precious metals from their natural ore deposits. Copper ore deposits are found across the world and heap leaching of copper has been implemented effectively for years. The ore is broken down to copper ions and elemental sulfur in the heap. Acid plants are used in mines to replenish the raffinate leaching the heaps which consists of sulfuric acid. Molten sulfur carried in rail cars to the acid plant is often accidentally spilled on the ground. The contaminated sulfur cannot be added to the acid plant and has been disposed of as hazardous waste at a high cost. This study tests the effects of adding waste sulfur to the leaching heaps to observe any inhibitory effects or even potential benefits towards bioleaching that occurs within the heap. The study done examines the behavior of the waste sulfur within columns used to simulate mine heap conditions. Shake flask tests were also run to observe the potential effects with increased aeration. The study concluded that there were no harmful effects observed towards leaching with the addition of the waste sulfur. This project has been useful to the company to recommend the final placement of the acid plant sulfur and the potential for acid generation if placed in the heap.
M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.
Chemical Engineering | Engineering | Geotechnical Engineering
iv, 37 leaves
George, Jibin, "Effects of adding acid plant sulfur on heap leaching" (2012). Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations.