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Full Lined Ceramic Ball Valves for Smelting of Copper Industry

Full Lined Ceramic Ball Valves for Smelting of Copper IndustryFull Lined Ceramic Ball Valves for Smelting of Copper Industry

The smelting of copper


Copper that is mined from copper ore, after beneficiation, becomes high quality copper concentrate. Then, after being smelted, refined copper and copper products are yielded.

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There are two main methods of smelting copper, one is pyrometallurgy, and the other is hydrometallurgical. Nowadays, the main smelting method is pyrometallurgy, which accounts for 85% in the world.

The details are as follows:

A. Pyrometallurgy

Pyrometallurgy usually adopts original ore, in which its content can reach 20%-30% after mineral processing. Copper concentrate is put into an airtight blast furnace, reverberatory, electric furnace, or flash furnace for matte smelting. The output of molten matte is then put into the converter for converting into a blister copper, and next into another kind of reverberatory. Following oxidation refining complex or casting anodes for the purpose of electrolysis, electrolytic copper with grade of up to 99.9% is finally produced. The process is short and with strong adaptability, and copper recovery rates can reach 95%. However, because sulfur escapes as waste gas, and is not easy to recycle, pollution can easily result. In recent years, more and more pyrometallurgy methods have been developed,such as the silver method, Noranda process, Japan's mitsubishi process etc.


Source: Metals: Scarce: Base - Copper Production: Ore Processing: Sulfide Ore- Smelting


B. Hydrometallurgy

Hydrometallurgy is usually suitable for low grade copper oxide, and the product of refined copper is called electrolytic copper. Modern hydrometallurgy methods usually can be separated as: the sulfating roasting- leaching- electrodeposition method; leaching- extraction- electrodeposition method; and bacterial leaching method. These methods are suitable for leaching of low grade complex ore, copper oxide ore, dump leaching contained waste copper ore, selection of tank leaching or in situ leaching. This smelting technology is gradually advancing, and is predicted to reach 20% of total output at the end of this century. Adopting hydrometallurgy will greatly reduce smelting costs.

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Characteristics and comparisons of the above two methods

(1) Equipment for the latter method is simpler, but the impurity content is greater.

(2) The latter method is subject to limitations in the grade of ore and types.

(3) The cost of the former process is higher than the latter.

According to the above, the hydrometallurgical method is relatively advantageous, but the scope of its applications is more limited, so not all the smelting of copper ore can adopt this technique. As technology has improved over recent years, more and more countries have applied the technique in copper ore smelting, including the US, Chile, Canada, Australia, Mexico and Peru.


Some other metals, just like gold, nickel,etc. may have the same method as copper. 

Copper concentrate powder is very abrasive, common metal pipes and valves are easy to be worn. Foyo full lined ceramic ball valves have proven and successful performance in copper concentrate transportation pipe lines. 


In January, 2016, Foyo delivered two 4"-CL150 lever operated ceramic ball valves to a copper smelting plant, and after more than two years, the valves are still be in service in the copper concentrate pipe lines. 

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Thanks to the excellent performance of Foyo full lined ceramic ball valves, the end user re-ordered two ceramic ball valves for thier copper concentrate line. It is certain that our products save a lot of maintenance costs for our customers.

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