Extractive Metallurgy of Copper

Extractive Metallurgy of Copper

6th Edition - December 2, 2021

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  • Authors: Mark Schlesinger, Kathryn Sole, William Davenport, Gerardo Alvear
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128218754
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128219034

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Extractive Metallurgy of Copper, Sixth Edition, expands on previous editions, including sections on orogenesis and copper mineralogy and new processes for efficiently recovering copper from ever-declining Cu-grade mineral deposits. The book evaluates processes for maintaining concentrate Cu grades from lower grade ores. Sections cover the recovery of critical byproducts (e.g., cesium), worker health and safety, automation as a safety tool, and the geopolitical forces that have moved copper metal production to Asia (especially China) and new smelting and refining processes. Indigenous Asian smelting processes are evaluated, along with energy and water requirements, environmental performance, copper electrorefining processes, and sulfur dioxide capture processes (e.g., WSA). The book puts special emphasis on the benefits of recycling copper scrap in terms of energy and water requirements. Comparisons of ore-to-product and scrap-to-product carbon emissions are also made to illustrate the concepts included.

Key Features

  • Describes copper mineralogy, mining and beneficiation techniques
  • Compares a variety of mining, smelting and converting technologies
  • Provides a complete description of hydrometallurgical and electrometallurgical processes, including process options and recent improvements
  • Includes comprehensive descriptions of secondary copper processing, including scrap collection and upgrading, melting and refining technologies


University students, working engineers and management graduates. Two–year college science and engineering graduates should also be able to handle most of the material. Management consultants, legal experts, and other similar professions who require an industry overview for particular assignments

Table of Contents

  • Cover image
  • Title page
  • Table of Contents
  • Copyright
  • Preface to the sixth edition
  • Chapter 1. Overview
  • 1.1. Introduction
  • 1.2. Ore–rock differentiation in the mine
  • 1.3. Extracting copper from copper–iron–sulfide ores
  • 1.4. Hydrometallurgical extraction of copper
  • 1.5. Melting and casting cathode copper
  • 1.6. Recycle of copper and copper alloy scrap
  • 1.7. Safety
  • 1.8. Environment
  • 1.9. Summary
  • Chapter 2. Production and use
  • 2.1. Properties and uses of copper
  • 2.2. Global copper production
  • 2.3. Copper minerals, mines, and cut-off grades
  • 2.4. Locations of processing plants
  • 2.5. Price of copper
  • 2.6. Future outlook
  • 2.7. Summary
  • Chapter 3. Production of high copper concentrates—comminution and flotation (Johnson et al., 2019)
  • 3.1. Concentration flowsheet
  • 3.2. The comminution process
  • 3.3. Particle size control of flotation feed
  • 3.4. Froth flotation fundamentals
  • 3.5. Flotation chemicals (Nagaraj et al., 2019; Woodcock et al., 2007)
  • 3.6. Flotation of Cu ores
  • 3.7. Flotation cells
  • 3.8. Flotation process control
  • 3.9. Flotation product processing
  • 3.10. Other flotation separations
  • 3.11. Summary
  • Chapter 4. Pyrometallurgical processing of copper concentrates
  • 4.1. Fundamental thermodynamic aspects associated with pyrometallurgical copper processing
  • 4.2. The Yazawa diagram and pyrometallurgical copper processing
  • 4.3. Smelting: the first processing step
  • 4.4. The copper converting process
  • 4.5. The refining process
  • 4.6. Minor elements
  • 4.7. Summary
  • Chapter 5. Theory to practice: pyrometallurgical industrial processes
  • 5.1. General considerations
  • 5.2. Technology evolution since 1970
  • 5.3. Copper making technology classification
  • 5.4. Evolution to large-scale smelting
  • 5.5. Chinese technology developments since 2000
  • 5.6. Summary
  • Chapter 6. Flash smelting (Davenport et al., 2001)
  • 6.1. Metso Outotec flash furnace
  • 6.2. Peripheral equipment
  • 6.3. Flash furnace operation
  • 6.4. Control
  • 6.5. Impurity behavior
  • 6.6. Outotec flash smelting recent developments and future trends
  • 6.7. Inco flash smelting
  • 6.8. Inco flash furnace summary
  • 6.9. Inco versus Outotec flash smelting
  • 6.10. Summary
  • Chapter 7. Bath matte smelting processes
  • 7.1. Submerged tuyere: Noranda and Teniente processes
  • 7.2. Teniente smelting
  • 7.3. Vanyukov submerged tuyere smelting
  • 7.4. Top Submerged Lance
  • 7.5. Chinese bath smelting technology developments: SKS-BBS process and side-blow smelting
  • 7.6. Concluding remarks
  • Chapter 8. Converting of copper matte
  • 8.1. Introduction
  • 8.2. Technology options for batch and continuous copper converting
  • 8.3. Batch converting
  • 8.4. Industrial Peirce–Smith converting operations
  • 8.5. Batch converting of high matte grades
  • 8.6. Oxygen enrichment of Peirce–Smith converter blast
  • 8.7. Maximizing converter productivity
  • 8.8. Recent improvements in Peirce–Smith converting
  • 8.9. Alternatives to Peirce–Smith converting
  • 8.10. Top submerged lance converting
  • 8.11. Chinese continuous converting technologies
  • 8.12. Summary
  • Chapter 9. Continuous copper making processes
  • 9.1. Single-stage process: direct to blister flash process
  • 9.2. Two-stage process: Dongying-Fangyuan process
  • 9.3. The Mitsubishi process: introduction (Mitsubishi Materials, 2020)
  • 9.4. Other developments for continuous processing of copper
  • 9.5. Summary
  • Chapter 10. Copper loss in slag
  • 10.1. Copper in slags
  • 10.2. Decreasing copper in slag I: minimizing slag generation
  • 10.3. Decreasing copper in slag II: minimizing Cu concentration in slag
  • 10.4. Decreasing copper in slag III: pyrometallurgical slag settling/reduction
  • 10.5. Decreasing copper in slag IV: slag minerals processing
  • 10.6. Summary
  • Chapter 11. Capture and fixation of sulfur (King et al., 2013)
  • 11.1. Off-gases from smelting and converting processes
  • 11.2. Sulfuric acid manufacture
  • 11.3. Smelter off-gas treatment
  • 11.4. Gas drying
  • 11.5. Acid plant chemical reactions
  • 11.6. Industrial sulfuric acid manufacture (Tables 11.4–11.6)
  • 11.7. Alternative sulfuric acid manufacturing methods
  • 11.8. Recent and future developments in sulfuric acid manufacture
  • 11.9. Alternative sulfur products
  • 11.10. Summary
  • Chapter 12. Fire refining (S and O removal) and anode casting
  • 12.1. Industrial methods of fire refining
  • 12.2. Chemistry of fire refining
  • 12.3. Choice of hydrocarbon for deoxidation
  • 12.4. Minor metals removal
  • 12.5. Casting anodes
  • 12.6. Continuous anode casting (Hazelett, 2019)
  • 12.7. New anodes from rejects and anode scrap
  • 12.8. Summary
  • Chapter 13. Electrolytic refining
  • 13.1. The electrorefining process
  • 13.2. Chemistry of electrorefining and behavior of anode impurities
  • 13.3. Equipment
  • 13.4. Typical refining cycle
  • 13.5. Electrolyte
  • 13.6. Maximizing cathode copper purity
  • 13.7. Minimizing energy consumption and maximizing current efficiency
  • 13.8. Treatment of electrolyte bleed
  • 13.9. Treatment of slimes
  • 13.10. Industrial electrorefining
  • 13.11. Recent developments and emerging trends in copper electrorefining
  • 13.12. Summary
  • Chapter 14. Hydrometallurgical copper extraction: introduction and leaching
  • 14.1. Copper recovery by hydrometallurgical flowsheets
  • 14.2. Chemistry of the leaching of copper minerals
  • 14.3. Leaching methods
  • 14.4. Heap leaching
  • 14.5. Dump leaching
  • 14.6. Vat leaching
  • 14.7. Agitation leaching
  • 14.8. Pressure oxidation leaching
  • 14.9. In situ leaching
  • 14.10. Hydrometallurgical processing of chalcopyrite concentrates
  • 14.11. Future developments
  • 14.12. Summary
  • Chapter 15. Solvent extraction
  • 15.1. The solvent extraction process
  • 15.2. Chemistry of copper solvent extraction
  • 15.3. Composition of the organic phase
  • 15.4. Equipment
  • 15.5. Circuit configurations
  • 15.6. Quantitative design of a series circuit
  • 15.7. Quantitative comparison of series and series−parallel circuits
  • 15.8. Minimizing impurity transfer and maximizing electrolyte purity
  • 15.9. Operational considerations
  • 15.10. Industrial solvent extraction plants
  • 15.11. Safety in solvent extraction plants
  • 15.12. Current and future developments
  • 15.13. Summary
  • Chapter 16. Electrowinning
  • 16.1. The electrowinning process
  • 16.2. Chemistry of copper electrowinning
  • 16.3. Electrical requirements
  • 16.4. Equipment
  • 16.5. Operational practice
  • 16.6. Maximizing copper quality
  • 16.7. Maximizing energy efficiency
  • 16.8. Modern industrial electrowinning plants
  • 16.9. Direct electrowinning from agitated leach solutions
  • 16.10. Copper electrowinning in EMEW cells
  • 16.11. Safety in electrowinning tankhouses
  • 16.12. Future developments
  • 16.13. Summary
  • Chapter 17. Collection and processing of recycled copper
  • 17.1. The materials cycle
  • 17.2. Secondary copper grades and definitions
  • 17.3. Scrap processing and beneficiation
  • 17.4. Summary
  • Chapter 18. Chemical metallurgy of copper recycling
  • 18.1. Characteristics of secondary copper
  • 18.2. Scrap processing in primary copper smelters
  • 18.3. The secondary copper smelter
  • 18.4. Summary
  • Chapter 19. Melting and casting
  • 19.1. Product grades and quality
  • 19.2. Melting technology
  • 19.3. Casting machines
  • 19.4. Summary
  • Chapter 20. Byproduct and waste streams
  • 20.1. Molybdenite recovery and processing
  • 20.2. Anode slimes
  • 20.3. Dust treatment
  • 20.4. Use or disposal of slag (Gorai et al., 2003)
  • 20.5. Summary
  • Chapter 21. Costs of copper production
  • 21.1. Overall investment costs: mine through refinery
  • 21.2. Overall direct operating costs: mine through refinery
  • 21.3. Total production costs, selling prices, profitability
  • 21.4. Concentrating costs
  • 21.5. Smelting costs
  • 21.6. Electrorefining costs
  • 21.7. Production of copper from scrap
  • 21.8. Leach/solvent extraction/electrowinning costs
  • 21.9. Profitability
  • 21.10. Summary
  • Chapter 22. Toward a sustainable copper processing
  • 22.1. Resource complexity and flowsheet solutions
  • 22.2. Multimetal flowsheet integration
  • 22.3. Concluding remarks
  • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 590
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2021
  • Published: December 2, 2021
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128218754
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128219034

About the Authors

Mark Schlesinger

Mark E. Schlesinger is a graduate of the University of Missouri–Rolla and the University of Arizona. He has spent a combined 31 years of teaching at The University of Utah and the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He is an author of: • Mass and Energy Balances in Materials Engineering • Extractive Metallurgy of Copper (4th and 5th English–language editions; Chinese edition) • Aluminum Recycling (two English language editions)Professor Schlesinger is a member of the (U.S.) Metals, Minerals, and Materials Society; the American Institute for Steel Technology; and the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. He is a former Fulbright Scholar (Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), 2002), and Leif Eriksson Fellow (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 2012–13). He was named a Fellow of ASM International (2018).

Affiliations and Expertise

Missouri University of Science and Technology, MO, USA

Kathryn Sole

Kathryn C. Sole has 30 years’ global experience in the chemistry and process engineering of hydrometallurgical extractive processes, with specialist expertise in solvent extraction, ion exchange, and electrowinning. She is currently an independent consultant, with clients spanning six continents. Kathy has worked with copper production operations in Africa, USA, and South America, including those of Anglo American, Eurasian Resource Group, Glencore, Vedanta, First Quantum, and BHP. Kathy holds an adjunct appointment at the University of Pretoria and regularly presents accredited Continuing Professional Development training courses, many of which focus on hydrometallurgy of copper. She has authored/coauthored over 90 publications, including Extractive Metallurgy of Copper (5th ed.), and is a member of the Editorial Boards of the journals Minerals Processing & Extractive Metallurgy Review and Solvent Extraction & Ion Exchange. She founded and chairs the Copper Cobalt Africa conference series. Kathy obtained her PhD in metallurgical engineering from the University of Arizona, USA, following BSc(Hons) and MSc degrees in chemistry from Rhodes University, South Africa. She has been awarded the Silver Medal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the Bronze Medal of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science, and received the Milton E. Wadsworth Award of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration in 2019.

Affiliations and Expertise

Kathryn C. Sole Consulting, Johannesburg, South Africa and Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa

William Davenport

William Davenport

Professor William George Davenport is a graduate of the University of British Columbia and the Royal School of Mines, London. Prior to his academic career he worked with the Linde Division of Union Carbide in Tonawanda, New York. He spent a combined 43 years of teaching at McGill University and the University of Arizona.

His Union Carbide days are recounted in the book Iron Blast Furnace, Analysis, Control and Optimization (English, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Spanish editions).

During the early years of his academic career he spent his summers working in many of Noranda Mines Company’s metallurgical plants, which led quickly to the book Extractive Metallurgy of Copper. This book has gone into five English language editions (with several printings) and Chinese, Farsi and Spanish language editions.

He also had the good fortune to work in Phelps Dodge’s Playas flash smelter soon after coming to the University of Arizona. This experience contributed to the book Flash Smelting, with two English language editions and a Russian language edition and eventually to the book Sulfuric Acid Manufacture (2006), 2nd edition 2013.

In 2013 co-authored Extractive Metallurgy of Nickel, Cobalt and Platinum Group Metals, which took him to all the continents except Antarctica.

He and four co-authors are just finishing up the book Rare Earths: Science, Technology, Production and Use, which has taken him around the United States, Canada and France, visiting rare earth mines, smelters, manufacturing plants, laboratories and recycling facilities.

Professor Davenport’s teaching has centered on ferrous and non-ferrous extractive metallurgy. He has visited (and continues to visit) about 10 metallurgical plants per year around the world to determine the relationships between theory and industrial practice. He has also taught plant design and economics throughout his career and has found this aspect of his work particularly rewarding. The delight of his life at the university has, however, always been academic advising of students on a one-on-one basis.

Professor Davenport is a Fellow (and life member) of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum and a twenty-five year member of the (U.S.) Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. He is recipient of the CIM Alcan Award, the TMS Extractive Metallurgy Lecture Award, the AusIMM Sir George Fisher Award, the AIME Mineral Industry Education Award, the American Mining Hall of Fame Medal of Merit and the SME Milton E. Wadsworth award. In September 2014 he will be honored by the Conference of Metallurgists’ Bill Davenport Honorary Symposium in Vancouver, British Columbia (his home town).

Affiliations and Expertise

Emeritus Prof. William Davenport, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ, USA

Gerardo Alvear

Chemical Engineer, doctor engineering degree in Materials Science and Processing, with over 25 years of experience in non-ferrous metallurgy, with focus in extractive metallurgy of copper, lead, zinc, and nickel and multi metal recovery. Dr. Alvear initiated his carrier in the academic field in Chile. In 1990 he was awarded by the Japanese government with the Monbusho Ministry of Education scholarship to continue his education as graduate student at Nagoya University, receiving his Doctor degree in Materials Science and Engineering in 1995. In 1995 he joined for one year as Post-Doctoral Fellow, NGK Metals in Japan. After returning to Chile to work for Enami’s Las Ventanas smelter in 1996, he joined the Research Centre for Advanced Waste and Emission Management, in Japan, to work as assistant professor, with special focus in pyrometallurgical processing of copper containing materials. In 1999, he joined Codelco’s Institute for Innovation in Mining and Metallurgy, where he worked as senior researcher, project manager and finally as technology program leader to develop technical solutions to Codelco’s copper smelters. In 2005, he joined Xstrata technology (now, Glencore Technology) working in several roles until 2016, supporting the development and implementation of ISASMELT technology. In 2016, he joined Aurubis as Executive Director Research, Development and Innovation supporting development of Aurubis’s multi-metal strategy. Since 2021, Dr. Alvear Flores has joined Rio Tinto Copper as Technical Marketing Manager. Dr. Alvear Flores is an active member of professional societies in Canada, and USA and member of the Copper Conference International Organizing Board. Dr. Alvear Flores has been selected by TMS as Co-Chairman of Copper 2025.

Affiliations and Expertise

Adjunct Professor, University of Queensland, Australia. Manager Technical Marketing, with Rio Tinto Singapore Holdings Pte Ltd.

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  • Munkhjargal B. Thu Jun 16 2022


    An excellent resource and platform.

  • Wim D. Thu May 19 2022

    Extractive Metallurgy of Copper

    Is a very comprehensive overview of the copper making processes, a reference book that is re-edited and reviewed regularly. This time with extra input from the younger co-authors with a marvelous view on the evolution of the processes.