most copper ores contain only a small percentage of copper metal bound up within valuable ore minerals with the remainder of the ore being unwanted rock or gangue minerals typically silicate minerals or oxide minerals for which there is often no value. in some cases tailings have been retreated to recover lost value as the technology for recovering copper has improved.
the oxide minerals are compounds of metallic elements plus oxygen with two prominent exceptions: ice and quartz. ice (h 2 o) always gets left out of the mineral books. quartz (sio 2) is treated as one of the silicate minerals.some of them are primary minerals that solidify deep in the earth in magmas but the most common oxide minerals form near the surface where oxygen in the air and water
oxygen can combine with copper can combine in different ways to form two types of compound: copper(i) oxide which is normally a reddish powder and copper(ii) oxide which is usually a black powder. they occur naturally as minerals in crystal form. both forms of copper oxide are used in the production of pigments but they have a number of other differing uses.
oxide minerals can be listed as compounds of oxygen with metals. a list of the common oxide minerals with the spinel structure together with their compositions u values cell dimension and structure type. pure end member compositions of these minerals arc rare in nature and cation substitution especially between cations of similar size and valence results in extensive solid solutions
while hydroxamates show the unsatisfactory selectivity against ca/fe-bearing gangue minerals  and xanthates suffer from the surface-sulfidized species of oxide copper minerals despite sulfidization xanthate approach has become a common technique for flotation recovery of copper lead or zinc oxide minerals [ ].
oxide ores. oxidised copper ore bodies may be treated via several processes with hydrometallurgical processes used to treat oxide ores dominated by copper carbonate minerals such as azurite and malachite and other soluble minerals such as silicates like chrysocolla or sulfates such as atacamite and so on.
iron oxide copper gold ore deposits (iocg) are important and highly valuable concentrations of copper gold and uranium ores hosted within iron oxide dominant gangue assemblages which share a common genetic origin. these ore bodies range from around 10 million tonnes of contained ore to 4000 million tonnes or more and have a grade of