Mining Solutions

Solvent Extraction

The LIX® range of solvent extractants are applicable to leach solutions with a wide range of copper tenors, pH and impurity levels. They have been successfully used to concentrate and purify pregnant leach solutions produced from heap/dump leach, agitation leach and concentrate leach processes.  

LIX® formulations demonstrate their versatility by generating low crud levels and low impurity transfer via entrainment together offering high resistance to degradation and nitration.

Product Solutions

LIX® Reagents

  • BASF’s copper extraction reagents are based on oxime chemical structures. These reagents give up a proton (hydrogen cation) and exchange it for the Cu+2  ion. The structure of  the resultant complex, called a chelate, is very specific to copper at a pH <2.5 and will reject every other metal except from a small amount of iron.
  • The aldoxime component (LIX® 860N-I) can extract copper at a lower pH, but is harder to strip. The ketoxime component (LIX® 84-I) is not as efficient at extracting copper at lower pH but is easy to strip. By blending the aldoxime and ketoxime in pre-defined quantities, different loading and stripping values can be met.
  • BASF offers a series of reagent formulations according to extractive and stripping strength, which are tailored to a customer's specific application. In addition, BASF have recently developed a proprietary extractant additive, marketed under the LIX® HS tradename, which is nitration proof, more resistant to degradation and offers enhanced iron selectivity. 
  • Many of the product formulations are available as concentrates which can reduce shipping costs.  All concentrate formulations have a designated “C” added to their tradename.
Formulations Table.jpg

The table above illustrates the more common formulations currently being offered by BASF.

Copper ore processing at Skouriotissa mine in Cyprus. Industrial landscape

Lupromin®  F-20X

During the operation of a copper solvent extraction circuit, the organic phase can become contaminated with organic substances which can adversely affect phase separation times, kinetics, and copper/iron selectivity. Clay treatment of the organic phase can be used to remove contaminants from the organic phase. Clays that have proven to be effective are acid leached montmorillonite clays. BASF's purification clay; Lupromin® F-20X has been successfully used for many years by several mine sites.

Purification clay Lupromin® F-20X is used to remove surface active compounds from in-process copper solvent extraction organic compounds. Benefits include:

·       Improved extraction and strip kinetics

·       Reduced phase separation times

·       Reduced entrainment

·       Reduced impurity transfer to the electrolyte  (e.g. Fe, Cl, Mn and NO3)



The IsoCalcTM  software allows the user to get an initial estimate of how a conceptual solvent extraction plant would perform based on theoretical plant parameters, theoretical isotherm models or estimated leach parameters. Laboratory generated isotherm data can also verify the accuracy of the first approximation and allow for refining of initial estimates. Alternatively, the laboratory isotherm data can be used exclusively without any theoretical models to allow the user to accurately predict the performance of a commercial SX plant.

The IsoCalcTM modelling package was designed as a wizard-based package using the Cycad Process® and is available to customers upon request.

To find out more about IsoCalcTM software   click here

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Sustainable Mining for a Sustainable Future

Learn more about how we supported a LIX® customer in the DRC to increase their copper production by approximately 10%.

See how BASF is paving the way for sustainable mining