Investigation of effect of colemanite addition on copper losses in matte smelting slag

Rusen A., GEVECİ A., TOPKAYA Y. A., Derin B.

Canadian Metallurgical Quarterly, vol.51, no.2, pp.157-169, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 51 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1179/1879139512y.0000000005
  • Journal Name: Canadian Metallurgical Quarterly
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.157-169
  • Keywords: Pyrometallurgy, Copper matte smelting, Copper losses to slag, Colemanite, THERMODYNAMIC CONSIDERATIONS, VISCOSITY, MODEL
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, the aim was to reduce copper losses to slag in copper production by using a boron compound, called colemanite (2CaO center dot 3B(2)O(3)center dot 5H(2)O), as flux, besides silica. In order to achieve this purpose, two different matte-slag couples were used; the flash furnace matte-slag obtained from Eti Copper Inc. (EBI.) and a master matte-slag without copper produced synthetically under laboratory conditions. Chemical analyses of flash furnace slag and synthetic master slag were 0.88%Cu-36.1%SiO2-43.9%FeO-3.7%Fe2O3 and 37.6%SiO2-60.0%FeO-2.4%Fe2O3 respectively. In each experiment, the same amounts of slag and matte were mixed with the addition of predefined amounts of colemanite and melted together at 1250 degrees C for different durations under nitrogen atmosphere in a silica crucible. Results showed that it was possible to decrease the copper losses to about 0.3-0.4% by accelerating the settling rate of matte particles by the addition of colemanite, which was attained by the expected increase in flash furnace slag fluidity and lowering of its liquidus temperature.