How Is Copper Extracted From Its Ore?

How Is Copper Extracted From Its Ore?

Have you ever wondered how copper is extracted from its ore and what is the exact procedure? If you are curious and want to find out, then you are at the right place today. This article will discuss precisely how copper is extracted from its ore by Solaris Exploration. So, keep reading to find out more information below.

Extracting Copper from Its Ore

It is a method that is used to extract copper. But it is also essential whether or not it all comes down to the nature of the ore. If you are working with sulfide ore, then a different method is required to convert it into copper compared to some other type of sulfide ore. The most common type available is called chalcopyrite.


For copper exploration, you must be familiar with its exact procedure. First of all, the concentrated ore has to be heated by using silicon dioxide, also known as silica. The oxygen also needs to be heated, and then you can move on to the next step. After this step, the copper ions are reduced to sulfide. 

It is reduced further, and then you can move on to the final step. It is important to note that the iron will also be converted into iron silicate slag. You will have to remove it. Most of the sulfur will convert into Sulfur Dioxide gas. If you are interested in making sulphuric acid, you can do so by using this gas. 

The copper sulfide can easily be converted into copper because all you need to do is give a final blast of oxygen. After this type, you will get to the final result, which will be called the blister copper. However, this end product is known as a brittle form of copper, and it is almost 99% pure. The same process is used by Solaris Exploration

Exploring The Redox Process

First of all, you will have to spend some time and find out the reducing agent in the reaction. After this process, it will be easier for you to see what is exactly happening. This process also involves and raises the state of oxidation regarding everything. 

The copper has to be plus one, and the sulfur has to be minus two in the copper sulfide. The oxidation state of oxygen and copper needs to be zero. You also need to make sure that the sulfur oxide has a -2 Oxidation state of oxygen, and the sulfur should be + 4. Once you have gotten these facts down, you can move on to the next step, to extract the copper.

Extracting Copper from Other Ores

If you want to work with non-sulfide ores, it can be extracted from that. But you will have to go through different stages for that one.

Purification of Copper

Once you have successfully made the copper on your own, you will have to purify it as well. The copper will be impure in its raw form, and it will have to be treated. There are remaining bubbles of sulfur oxide in the copper floating around, and you need to get rid of them. For getting rid of them, a process called electrolysis is used, and then you will be able to get purified copper that is going to be 99.99% pure.