Greg O’Connor

Electrochemical aspects of copper leaching in alkaline glycine solutions



 Program 3: Extract (P3-008)



 Greg OConnor Pic 1
A blue solution of copper resulting from the electrochemical dissolution of chalcopyrite in alkaline solution of glycine


 PhD Topic:


Electrochemical aspects of copper leaching in alkaline glycine solutions




Curtin University




Prof Jacques Eksteen




June 2018



 Meet Greg O’Connor:

Greg OConnor Headshot


Greg has a background as a metallurgist in industry and research environments. He is currently researching the electrochemical fundamentals of copper leaching with a focus on chalcopyrite. Of particular interest is the dissolution of chalcopyrite, which is not inhibited by passivation at alkaline pH.

Greg has a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) from The University of Queensland and a graduate Diploma in Extractive Metallurgy from Murdoch University.

Greg’s future work will involve optimising processes developed at the lab scale and implementing them in industry.


 Focus area:

Leaching of chalcopyrite in alkaline glycine solutions.



A comprehensive review of literature has shown that there is much disagreement and inconsistency regarding the mechanism of dissolution of chalcopyrite. A commonly held view is that chalcopyrite is passivated by a thin surface layer that prevents leaching.

Through electrochemistry, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy it has been shown that passivation does not occur in the alkaline pH range, despite supposed passivating species being present.

This research aims to determine an appropriate oxidant and other optimal conditions for chalcopyrite leaching.


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