An electrode system to study the mechanism of fine microgram powder sulfide mineral dissolution was developed by using a relatively simple method that enables the attachment of micrograms of fine powder to a platinum plate surface. This system yields highly reproducible results and is sensitive compared with conventional electrode systems for various sulfide minerals such as pyrite, chalcopyrite, chalcocite, enargite, and tennantite. The leaching behavior of chalcopyrite was re-examined in a test of the application of this electrode system. Chalcopyrite dissolution is enhanced in specific potential regions because it is believed to be reduced to leachable chalcocite, but this result is inconclusive because it is difficult to detect the intermediate chalcocite. Powder chalcopyrite in the new powder electrode system was held at 0.45 V in the presence of copper ion and sulfuric acid media followed by an application of potential in the anodic direction. Besides the chalcopyrite oxidation peak, a small peak resulted at ~0.55 V; this peak corresponds to reduced chalcocite, because it occurs at the same potential as the chalcocite oxidation peak.
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