ISSN (print) 1995-2732
ISSN (online) 2412-9003


download PDF

DOI: 10.18503/1995-2732-2020-18-2-4-12


The paper presents the laboratory studies concerned with the bubbling reducing-sulphidizing depletion of copper smelting slags containing zinc. The slag samples used in the present studies were taken at the outlet of the slag electric settling tank of the Vanyukov furnace (VF); the samples contained about 3.4% zinc by mass. The main objective of the research was to establish the capabilities and the degree of the copper and zinc recovery from VF slag into individual products. The paper describes the procedure of the performed experiments. The outstanding feature of the procedure was a multi-stage batch feeding of the sulfide collector phase, applying a run-of-mine copper concentrate with a copper content of about 19%. Such approach allows for distributing a load of sulfidizing agent for the entire slag processing time and maintaining a matte suspension structure in slag close to the continuous feeding conditions. The paper discusses the chemical composition of the final products and the distribution of copper and zinc. The consumption of the reducing and sulphidizing agents varied in the conducted experimental studies. It was shown that the most significant influence on copper recovery into matte was exerted by the consumption of the sulfidizing agent; when a consumption of the sulphidizing agent was about 7–10% of the depleted slag weight, a residual copper content was below 0.4%. At the same time, the consumption of the reducing agent mainly influences the zinc recovery from slag: by adding graphite in the amount of 3–4% of the weight of depleted slag, we decrease the residual zinc content to 0.1% or lower. The conducted laboratory studies on the depletion with reducing and sulphidizing agents show a high recovery degree of both target and impurity elements from the depleted slag samples that indicates the potential efficiency of the considered slag depletion method.


Slag depletion, sulphidizing agent, reducing agent, sulphurization, bubbling, copper recovery, zinc recovery, copper smelting slags.

For citation

Karyaev V.I., Komkov A.A., Kuznetsov A.V., Plotnikov I.P. Recovery of Copper and Zinc from Copper Smelting Slags During Reducing-Sulfidizing Treatment. Vestnik Magnitogorskogo Gosudarstvennogo Tekhnicheskogo Universiteta im. G.I. Nosova [Vestnik of Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University]. 2020, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 4–12.

Vladimir I. Karyaev – Postgraduate student, NUST MISIS, Moscow, Russia. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alexey A. Komkov – PhD (Eng.), Associate Professor, NUST MISIS, Moscow, Russia. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alexander V. Kuznetsov – Director for Engineering NORD Engineering Company, Moscow, Russia. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ilya P. Plotnikov – Postgraduate student, NUST MISIS, Moscow, Russia. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

1. Sanchez M., Parada F., Parra R., Marquez F., Jara R., Carrasco J.C., and Palacios J. Management of copper pyrometallurgical slags: giving additional value to copper mining industry. VII International Conference on Molten Slags Fluxes and Salts. The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2004, pp.543–550.

2. Sanchez M., Sudbury M. Reutilisation of primary metallurgical wastes: copper slag as a source of copper, molybdenum, and iron – brief review of test work and the proposed way forward. 3rd International Slag Valorisation Symposium, Leuven, 2013, pp.135-146.

3. Peng Z., Gregurek D., Wenzl C., and White J. F. Slag metallurgy and metallurgical waste recycling. JOM, 2016, vol. 68, iss. 9, pp. 2313–2315.

4. Steinacker S. R. and Antrekowitsch J. Treatment of residues from the copper industry with an alternative approach for electric furnace slag. BHM, 2017, vol. 162, iss. 7, pp. 252–257.

5. Sarfo P., Das A., Wyss G., Young C. Recovery of metals values from copper slag and reuse of residual secondary slag. Waste Management, December 2017, vol. 70, pp. 272–281.

6. Yang, X., Zhang, J., Zhang, J. et al. Efficient recovery of copper and cobalt from the matte–slag mixture of ISA furnace by injection of coke and pyrite. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B 49, 3118–3126 (2018).

7. Cui Z., Wang Z., Bian R., Wei C., Zhao B. (2018) Application study on technology of reducing copper content in discarded slag. In: Davis B. et al. (eds) Extraction 2018. The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series. Springer, Cham

8. Komkov A.A., Baranova N.V., Bystrov V.P. Studies on reducing depletion of highly oxidized slags under bubbling conditions. Tsvetnye metally [Ferrous metals], 1994, no. 12, pp. 26–30. (In Russ.)

9. Komkov A.A., Vaskevich A.D., Panfilov V.P., Gershman L.S. Studies on the possible depletion of slags in the Vanyukov furnace. Tsvetnye metally [Ferrous metals], 1991, no. 2, pp. 18-20. (In Russ.)

10. Fomichev V.B., Knyazev M.V., Ryumin A.A. et al. Studies on the process of depletion of slags by purging gas mixtures with different partial pressure of oxygen. Tsvetnye metally [Ferrous metals], 2002, no. 9, pp. 32–36. (In Russ.)

11. Tozik V.M., Danilov M.P., Potantsev V.A., Kozhanov A.L. The depletion of copper smelting slags in the Vanyukov furnace at the Copper Plant of the Polar Division of MMC Norilsk Nickel. Tsvetnye metally [Ferrous metals], 2006, no. 11. (In Russ.)

12. Komkov A.A., Bystrov V.P., Ladygo E.A. A predictive model of reducing depletion of slags in the Vanyukov furnace. Tsvetnye metally [Ferrous metals], 2008, no. 10, pp. 44–49. (In Russ.)

13. Ladygo E.A. Zakonomernosti raspredeleniya medi i nikelya mezhdu produktami obednitelnoy plavki v vosstanovitelnykh usloviyakh. Dis. kand. tekhn. nauk. [Regularities of distribution of copper and nickel between products of depletion melting in reducing conditions. PhD (Eng.) thesis]. Moscow, 2003, 149 p.

14. Alexey Komkov and Rostislav Kamkin. Reducing treatment of copper-smelting slag: thermodynamic analysis of impurities behavior. JOM, 2011, vol. 63, no. 1, pp. 73–76.

15. Komkov A.A., Kamkin R.I., Kuznetsov A.V., Karyaev V.I. Features of copper extraction from slags during recovery under bubbling conditions. Tsvetnye metally [Ferrous metals], 2018, no. 11, pp. 21–26. (In Russ.)

16. Tang C., Li Y., Chen Y., Yang S., Ye L., Xue H. Distribution behaviours of Cu, Co and Fe during Cu smelter slag cleaning process. Jiang T. et al. (eds) 6th International Symposium on High-Temperature Metallurgical Processing. Springer, Cham (2015).

17. Li, Y. Chen, C. Tang, S. Yang, Jing He. Co-treatment of waste smelting slags and gypsum wastes via reductive-sulfurizing smelting for valuable metals recovery. Journal of Hazardous Materials 322, Pt B (2016).

18. Dosmukhamedov N., Egizekov M., Zholdasbay E. et al. Metal recovery from converter slags using a sulfiding agent. JOM 70, 2400–2406 (2018).