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Hydrometallurgy into the next millennium

Nicol, M.J. (2001) Hydrometallurgy into the next millennium. AusIMM Proceedings, 306 (1). pp. 65-69.


Hydrometallurgy has a history of over 300 years with copper leaching and cementation having been exploited in Spain as far back as 1670. Since then, hydrometallurgy has become an integral, expanding branch of extractive metallurgy. This paper reviews major developments in hydrometallurgy over the past century with emphasis on recent commercial developments and their impact on the mining and metals industries. The environment in which these developments has taken place has changed significantly in the past two decades and many factors, often non-technical, have emerged as constraints on the operation of existing plants and the expansion and development of new hydrometallurgical operations. Finally, a number of possible new developments that will shape the future of hydrometallurgy in the new millennium are discussed, particularly as they relate to the assimilation of technical advances in other areas of science and engineering. The impact of current trends in the education of hydrometallurgists and the provision of research in support of these future development is also addressed.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Parker Cooperative Research Centre for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions
Publisher: Institution of Mining and Metallurgy
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