The effects of ferrous ions on chalcopyrite oxidation with ferric ions in 0.1 mol dm-3 sulfuric acid solutions were investigated by leaching experiments at 303 K in nitrogen. With high cupric ion concentrations, the chalcopyrite oxidation was enhanced by high concentrations of ferrous ions and copper extraction was mainly controlled by the concentration ratio of ferrous to ferric ions or the redox potential of solutions. Ferrous ions, however, suppressed the chalcopyrite oxidation when cupric ion concentrations were low. A reaction model, which involves chalcopyrite reduction to intermediate Cu2S by ferrous ions and oxidation of the Cu2S by ferric ions, was proposed to interpret the results.
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