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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe objective of this investigation was to experimentally determine the variation in the flow characteristics of tactite copper ores during the leaching process. The laboratory work involved estimation of porosity and permeability of cores before leaching, and after various intervals of leaching. The tests were carried out using specimens of diameter 1.5 and 4.0 inches, prepared from boulders obtained from the Cyprus Casa Grande mine. A solution containing about 25 grams of sulfuric acid per liter was used as the lixiviant. Porosity was determined using the water saturation method. The permeability was estimated using either helium or water with the specimens stressed triaxially to simulate in situ conditions. The rate of copper recovery from the specimen during the leaching process was also determined by estimating the copper content in the solution used for leaching. The results indicate that the permeability and porosity of the specimens increased with leaching, but both tend to remain constant after most of the soluble material in the core was dissolved. The rate of copper recovery was high initially but dropped as leaching progressed and the copper in the specimen was depleted.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Mining and Geological Engineering