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Leaching of sulphide mineral feeds followed by metal precipitation and purification

Responsible partner: VTT

Location: Portable, main operative location Espoo (Finland).

TRL: 5


Portable and modular mini-pilot facility for various leaching, chemical precipitation and purification purposes. Tailored for cost-effective and rapid continuous-mode testing. Basic units for leaching and chemical precipitation are CSTR reactors (acid proof steel, titanium gr.2, glass; 1 – 20 L), equipped with Outotec Oktop miniature impellers. Variety of pumps and mass flow controllers for input chemicals and gases, with gas scrubbing. Several levels of automation, the suitable is selected according to the process complexity. Can be connected to solvent extraction and ion exchange pilots. Allows preliminary studies for settling and filtration. Provides information for industrial plant development, such as operative parameters, reaction kinetics, chemical consumption and product quality in steady-state / continuous mode operations. Can be linked with process calculation and modelling/simulation tools (Outotec HSC).

Input material: Solid material (ore, tailings, gangue, waste). Can treat asbestos containing materials. Chemical precipitation, solvent extraction and ion exchange can treat also solutions.

Picture 1. Leaching / chemical precipitation pilot setup in VTT’s Bioruukki hydrometallurgical piloting facility. Can treat 5 – 50 kg of sample material per day. Picture: VTT.

Picture 2. Ultra-compact leaching / chemical precipitation pilot setup. Designed for situations when lacking large sample, test area or testing time, but continuous mode (steady state) tests required. Can treat 1 – 15 kg of sample material per day, requires 2 – 4 m2 ventilated area. Picture: VTT.



VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd

Research Scientist Jarno Mäkinen, jarno.makinen@vtt.fi