Patents Assigned to Freeport-McMoran Corporation
  • Patent number: 7736476
    Abstract: This invention relates to a system and method for producing a metal powder product using either conventional electrowinning or alternative anode reaction chemistries in a flow-through electrowinning cell. The present invention enables the production of high quality metal powders, including copper powder, from metal-containing solutions using conventional electrowinning processes, direct electrowinning, or alternative anode reaction chemistries.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: Freeport-McMoran Corporation
    Inventors: Stanley R Gilbert, Scot P Sandoval, Antonioni C Stevens, Timothy G Robinson, John O Marsden
  • Patent number: 7736487
    Abstract: The present invention relates generally to a process for recovering copper and/or other metal values from a metal-bearing ore, concentrate, or other metal-bearing material using pressure leaching and direct electrowinning. More particularly, the present invention relates to a substantially acid-autogenous process for recovering copper from chalcopyrite-containing ore using pressure leaching and direct electrowinning in combination with a leaching, solvent/solution extraction and electrowinning operation. In accordance with one aspect of the process, at least a portion of the residue from the pressure leaching operation is directed to a heap, stockpile or other leaching operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: Freeport-McMoran Corporation
    Inventors: John O. Marsden, John C. Wilmot, Christy Green, Wayne W. Hazen, David R. Baughman
  • Patent number: 7736488
    Abstract: The present invention relates generally to a process for recovering copper and/or other metal values from a metal-bearing ore, concentrate, or other metal-bearing material using pressure leaching and direct electrowinning. More particularly, the present invention relates to a substantially acid-autogenous process for recovering copper from chalcopyrite-containing ore using pressure leaching and direct electrowinning in combination with a leaching, solvent/solution extraction and electrowinning operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: Freeport-McMoran Corporation
    Inventors: John O Marsden, Robert E Brewer, Susan R Brewer, Joanna M Robertson, David R Baughman, Philip Thompson, Wayne W Hazen, Christel M. A. Bemelmans
  • Patent number: 7722756
    Abstract: A system and process for recovering copper from a copper-containing ore, concentrate, or other copper-bearing material to produce high quality cathode copper from a leach solution without the use of copper solvent/solution extraction techniques or apparatus. A process for recovering copper from a copper-containing ore generally includes the steps of providing a feed stream containing comminuted copper-containing ore, concentrate, or other copper-bearing material, leaching the feed stream to yield a copper-containing solution, conditioning the copper-containing solution through one or more physical or chemical conditioning steps, and electrowinning copper directly from the copper-containing solution in multiple electrowinning stages, without subjecting the copper-containing solution to solvent/solution extraction prior to electrowinning.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2010
    Assignee: Freeport-McMoran Corporation
    Inventors: John O Marsden, Joanna M Robertson, Robert E Brewer, Susan R. Brewer, legal representative, David R Baughman, Philip Thompson, Wayne W Hazen, Christel M. A. Bemelmans
  • Patent number: 7704354
    Abstract: The present invention relates, generally, to a method and apparatus for electrowinning metals, and more particularly to a method and apparatus for copper electrowinning using the ferrous/ferric anode reaction. In general, the use of a flow-through anode—coupled with an effective electrolyte circulation system—enables the efficient and cost-effective operation of a copper electrowinning system employing the ferrous/ferric anode reaction at a total cell voltage of less than about 1.5 V and at current densities of greater than about 26 Amps per square foot (about 280 A/m2), and reduces acid mist generation. Furthermore, the use of such a system permits the use of low ferrous iron concentrations and optimized electrolyte flow rates as compared to prior art systems while producing high quality, commercially saleable product (i.e., LME Grade A copper cathode or equivalent), which is advantageous.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2010
    Assignee: Freeport-McMoran Corporation
    Inventors: Scot Philip Sandoval, Timothy George Robinson, Paul Richard Cook
  • Patent number: 7691347
    Abstract: The present invention relates generally to a process for removing dissolved or colloidal silica from a pregnant leach solution (“PLS”). More particularly, an exemplary embodiment of the present invention relates to a process which mixes PLS with an acid source, preferably lean electrolyte, to induce formation of colloidal silica that can then be collected and removed. Additionally, in an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, at least one silica seeding agent is added to induce formation of colloidal silica, at least one flocculant is added to induce aggregation of the colloidal silica, and a solid-liquid separation process is utilized to remove advantageous amounts or substantially all of the colloidal silica, thereby providing relief from supersaturation of dissolved silica in the metal recovery processes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2010
    Assignee: Freeport-McMoran Corporation
    Inventors: James D. Gillaspie, David R. Baughman, Dennis D. Gertenbach, Wayne W. Hazen, George Owusu, John C. Wilmot
  • Patent number: 7666371
    Abstract: The present invention relates generally to a process for recovering copper and other metal values from metal-containing materials through pressure leaching operations. In accordance with the various aspects of the present invention, metal-containing pregnant leach solutions from pressure leaching operations need not be significantly diluted to facilitate effective metal recovery using solvent extraction and electrowinning.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2010
    Assignee: Freeport-McMoran Corporation
    Inventors: John O Marsden, Robert E Brewer, Joanna M Robertson, Wayne W Hazen, Philip Thompson, David R Baughman
  • Patent number: 7591934
    Abstract: This invention relates to an apparatus for producing a metal powder product using either conventional electrowinning or alternative anode reaction chemistries in a flow-through electrowinning cell. A new design for a flow-through electrowinning cell that employs both flow-through anodes and flow-through cathodes is described. The present invention enables the production of high quality metal powders, including copper powder, from metal-containing solutions using conventional electrowinning processes, direct electrowinning, or alternative anode reaction chemistry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2009
    Assignee: Freeport-McMoran Corporation
    Inventors: John O Marsden, Scot P Sandoval, Antonioni C Stevens, Timothy G Robinson, Stanley R Gilbert