Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-2023


Mineral processing and extractive metallurgical operations have created and are creating appreciable arsenic bearing wastewater and waste solid products that have to be handled, treated for recycle, or treated for environmentally safe disposal. At present there are intense research and operational activities being conducted to provide the best viable processing procedures to ensure that the mineral processing and extractive metallurgical industries are profitable and environmentally secure. The focus of this presentation is on the element arsenic, even though many other deleterious elements may also be present in ores and concentrates. Numerous base metal resources contain arsenic bearing minerals, especially resources containing mineral sulfides. Information on presently treated metal-bearing resources and potential new resources is voluminous, especially for those containing arsenic mineralization. The influence of elevated arsenic concentrations in the treatment of copper-arsenic sulfides and to a lesser extent the treatment of copper-gold-arsenic sulfides are considered in this presentation. Because of chapter page limitations not all treatment processes are discussed, however, examples are provided to illustrate arsenic problems and industrial solutions. The major emphasis of this presentation has been placed on the present state-of-the-art for arsenic immobilization/fixation and long-term storage considerations.


INTENT OF THIS PRESENTATION (The following presentation is an expanded and updated version of the previous SME Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Handbook Chapter 9.22 (“Arsenic Production, Commodities, and Fixation” Editors: R.C. Dunne, S.K. Kawatra, and C.A. Young). The update covers the period February 2019 to August 2021).

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