Fe3+-Fe2+ Redox Cycle Peculiarity in the Acid Dissolution of Copper-Cobalt Complex Ores

Bienvenu Mbuya, Léon Zeka, Antoine F. Mulaba-Bafubiandi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Cobalt, naturally found in association with copper, as it is the case in the copper-cobalt bearing minerals from the African Copperbelt region, as found in the DRC-Zambia chain, has been often considered as a by-product from copper extraction. With Co(III) in the ore, the hydrometallurgical processing of such an ore goes through the use of reducing agents as metabisulfite and sulfur dioxide at a time preceded by a microwave energy pretreatment. The abovementioned processing leads to the inevitable release of sulfur dioxide into the environment with the expected negative impacts. This chapter discusses a polluting reagent free copper-cobalt complex oxide and sulfide ores acid green dissolution process.The use of the polluting reducing agents has been substituted by leveraging on the Fe3+-Fe2+ in-situ redox cycle. Starting with an overview of conventional dissolution processes, the chapter emphasizes on the sound thermodynamics study of the ‘mineral-mineral’ process to discuss the development of this Co(III) ecofriendly dissolution from complex copper-cobalt ores, before ending with typical examples.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecovery of Values from Low-Grade and Complex Minerals
Subtitle of host publicationDevelopment of Sustainable Processes
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)9781119896890
ISBN (Print)9781119896418
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • copper-cobalt complex ores
  • Copperbelt DRC-Zambia
  • Green leaching process
  • heterogenite
  • mineral-mineral process
  • redox cycle Fe-Fe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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