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Copper tailings reprocessing

   | 06 sie 2023


Copper is widely used in the modern world. An excellent conductor of electricity, it is used in the electrical industry, in the construction industry because of its good corrosion resistance, and in the manufacture of heat exchangers in heating and cooling systems owing to its excellent thermal conductivity. Copper production has increased throughout the twentieth century, and this trend has continued over the last twenty years. The demand for copper is expected to increase significantly by the year 2030. Owing to the high prices of this metal and the lack of deposits, part of the demand can be met by extraction from copper-bearing tailings. In the past, owing to the lower level of technological development and lower copper prices, materials comparable in copper content to the copper ores mined today have ended up in tailings. Since these are already processed materials, the costs of mining, crushing and milling are largely eliminated, making them promising raw materials. The article presents the technological possibilities of reprocessing and also estimates the amount of copper that could be obtained worldwide in this way.