Analytical models are of vital importance to study the dynamics of complex systems, including the heap leaching process. In this work, a methodology to study the dynamics of copper recovery in the heap leaching by means of fit of analytical models that capture the leaching dynamics product of variations of leaching agents as a function of the feeding is proposed, establishing a first mode of operation keeping the leaching agent fixed (H2SO4) and a second operation mode, where Cl− is added to accelerate the reaction kinetics of sulfide minerals (secondary sulfides). Mineral recovery was modeled for the different modes of operation, dependent on the independent variables/control parameters time, heap height, leach flow rate, and feed granulometry. The results indicate that the recovery of ore from sulfide minerals is proportional to the addition of Cl−, reaching recovery levels of approximately 60%, very close to 65% recovery in conventional oxide leaching, using only H2SO4 as leaching agent. Additionally, high copper recoveries from sulfide ores are achieved at medium Cl− concentrations, but the increase in recovery at high Cl− concentrations is marginal.
- phenomenological modeling
- production planning