Press center menu
VNIPIpromtechnologii Developed a New Rare Metal Extraction Method
Experts of VNIPIpromtechnologii, JSC (Engineering Center of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co./Mining Division of ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation), together with colleagues from KazHydroMed, LLP of the Republic of Kazakhstan, have developed a new method for extracting non-ferrous, rare, and noble metals.
The National Institute of Intellectual Property of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan issued a patent for the «Method for the extraction of non-ferrous, rare, and noble metals from sulfide raw materials» utility model to the research team.
The new method is based on the use of nitric acid as an oxidizing agent in the leaching of copper sulfide concentrates. The generated nitrous gases are captured, and the absorption products are returned to the leaching stage. Waste gases with residual nitrogen oxides undergo sanitizing treatment before being released into the atmosphere.
The patented method is planned to be implemented at a pilot leach plant currently under construction in Zhezkazgan. «The Zhezkazgan deposit is one of the world’s largest copper deposits. Over 80 years of operation, more than 1 billion tons of ore have already been extracted from its subsoil, which is 75% of the total amount of balance reserves. The use of hydrometallurgical methods will allow the development of sulfide ores and concentrates with a low copper content. This contributes to the replenishment of the raw material base and the extension of the production activities at the Zhezkazgan site for tens of years, and will improve the environmental situation in the region,» says Alexey Solovyov, Head of the Research Department for Complex Processing of Raw Materials at the Engineering Center.
This is not the first successful joint work of VNIPIpromtechnologii, JSC with colleagues from the Republic of Kazakhstan. In 2020, experts of the Engineering Center developed the associated rhenium extraction process technology for the Balkhash copper smelting plant. The project was implemented by order of Kazakhmys Development, LLP. An original process flow diagram and equipment layout options are proposed for a special production site.