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In situ recovery of copper from sulfide ore bodies following nuclear fracturing

Abstract

Leaching now yields about 12 percent of the Nation's annual new copper production. About 200,000 tons of copper a year is being won by heap and vat leaching of ore, dump leaching of waste, and in-place leaching of caved underground workings. Although in-place leaching was practiced as long ago as the 15th century, it is little used and contributes only a few percent of the total leach copper production. Current technology in this area is exemplified by practice at the Miami, Ariz., mine of the Miami Copper Co. Despite its limited use, the concept of extracting copper by in-place leaching without physically mining and transporting the ore continues to present intriguing cost saving possibilities. Project SLOOP has been proposed as an experiment to test the feasibility of nuclear fracturing and acid leaching the oxidized portion of a deep ore body near Safford, Ariz. However, the bulk of the copper in deep ore deposits occurs as sulfide minerals that are not easily soluble in acid solutions. This paper explores the concept of in-place leaching of nuclear fractured, deeply buried copper sulfide deposits. On the assumption that fracturing of rock and solution injection and collection would be feasible, an assessment is made  More>>
Authors:
Rosenbaum, Joe B; McKinney, W A [1] 
  1. Salt Lake City Metallurgy Research Center, Bureau of Mines, US Department of the Interior, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
Publication Date:
May 15, 1970
Product Type:
Conference
Report Number:
CONF-700101(vol.2); INIS-XA-N-229
Resource Relation:
Conference: Symposium on engineering with nuclear explosives, Las Vegas, NV (United States), 14-16 Jan 1970; Other Information: 17 refs, 2 figs, 4 tabs; Related Information: In: Symposium on engineering with nuclear explosives. Proceedings. Volume 2, 935 pages.
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; CAPITALIZED COST; COPPER; COPPER ORES; COPPER SULFIDES; COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS; FEASIBILITY STUDIES; IN-SITU PROCESSING; LEACHING; MINING ENGINEERING; NUCLEAR EXCAVATION; NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS; TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
OSTI ID:
20768806
Research Organizations:
American Nuclear Society, Hindsdale, IL (United States); United States Atomic Energy Commission (United States)
Country of Origin:
IAEA
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
TRN: XA04N0873075273
Availability:
Available from INIS in electronic form
Submitting Site:
INIS
Size:
page(s) 877-887
Announcement Date:
Sep 23, 2006

Citation Formats

Rosenbaum, Joe B, and McKinney, W A. In situ recovery of copper from sulfide ore bodies following nuclear fracturing. IAEA: N. p., 1970. Web.
Rosenbaum, Joe B, & McKinney, W A. In situ recovery of copper from sulfide ore bodies following nuclear fracturing. IAEA.
Rosenbaum, Joe B, and McKinney, W A. 1970. "In situ recovery of copper from sulfide ore bodies following nuclear fracturing." IAEA.
@misc{etde_20768806,
title = {In situ recovery of copper from sulfide ore bodies following nuclear fracturing}
author = {Rosenbaum, Joe B, and McKinney, W A}
abstractNote = {Leaching now yields about 12 percent of the Nation's annual new copper production. About 200,000 tons of copper a year is being won by heap and vat leaching of ore, dump leaching of waste, and in-place leaching of caved underground workings. Although in-place leaching was practiced as long ago as the 15th century, it is little used and contributes only a few percent of the total leach copper production. Current technology in this area is exemplified by practice at the Miami, Ariz., mine of the Miami Copper Co. Despite its limited use, the concept of extracting copper by in-place leaching without physically mining and transporting the ore continues to present intriguing cost saving possibilities. Project SLOOP has been proposed as an experiment to test the feasibility of nuclear fracturing and acid leaching the oxidized portion of a deep ore body near Safford, Ariz. However, the bulk of the copper in deep ore deposits occurs as sulfide minerals that are not easily soluble in acid solutions. This paper explores the concept of in-place leaching of nuclear fractured, deeply buried copper sulfide deposits. On the assumption that fracturing of rock and solution injection and collection would be feasible, an assessment is made of solution systems that might be employed for the different copper sulfide minerals in porphyry ore bodies. These include the conventional ferric sulfate-sulfuric acid systems and combinations of sulfide mineral oxidants and different acids. (author)}
place = {IAEA}
year = {1970}
month = {May}
}