Business Segments

Development of a new technology for Resources Development

JX Nippon Mining & Metals has been working to develop mining technologies, for efficient recovery of copper from low-grade sulfide ores. Among such ores, primary copper sulfide ores (chalcopyrites) have been considered particularly difficult to leach, and such lowgrade ores have been economically infeasible to apply the conventional flotation process, therefore not been exploited as resources. We developed the JX-iodine process as an original and unique technology for efficiently leaching and recovering copper from these ores, and are moving closer to commercialization.

The JX-iodine process is a relatively simple method for oxidative leaching of copper from primary copper sulfide ores. Key features of the process are the addition of iodine as a catalyst and use of an iodine recovery system along with the solvent extraction and electrowinning (SX-EW) equipment used for conventional heap leaching.

From 2014, we conducted heap-leaching experiments in Chile for approximately one year, verifying the commercial feasibility of the JX-iodine process and its effectiveness in improving copper leaching performance. Now we are focusing on the commercial introduction of the process in mines, leveraging the heap-leaching experiment results.

Copper recovery system employing JX-iodine processCopper recovery system employing JX-iodine process

Heap-leaching experiments of JX-iodine process in ChileHeap-leaching experiments of JX-iodine process in Chile

First refined copper produced using JX-iodine processFirst refined copper produced using JX-iodine process