Gold dissolution and copper suppression during leaching of copper-gold gravity concentrates in caustic soda-low free cyanide solutions
|Oraby, E. and Eksteen, J. 2015. Gold dissolution and copper suppression during leaching of copper-gold gravity concentrates in caustic soda-low free cyanide solutions. Minerals Engineering. 87: pp. 10-17.
In the cyanidation process, copper–gold deposits containing significant amounts of cyanide soluble copper can lead to high cyanide consumption with low gold extraction. The significant levels of weak acid dissociable (WAD) cyanide must then be destroyed prior to tailings disposal. This increases the cost to the gold mining companies to cover both the extra cyanide consumption in the leaching stage and the additional cost for cyanide recovery/destruction. Therefore, in this study, a selective cyanide leaching process of gold over copper from copper–gold concentrate (also see Oraby and Eksteen, 2014) containing 490 g/t Au and 0.97% Cu present as metallic copper, oxides and sulfides has been investigated. To decrease the cyanide consumption, cyanide is added into the leach solutions to maintain a ratio of cyanide to total reactive copper (CN/Cu) below 2. At low CN/Cu ratio, increasing the pH of solution can lead to the precipitation of solubilized copper as CuO/Cu(OH)2, releasing cyanide ions for further both gold and copper dissolution. A comparison of leaching gold in cyanide–caustic, cyanide–ammonia and conventional cyanidation processes has been made. Higher gold extraction and lower copper concentration in the final leach was achieved in the cyanide–caustic system than in either the cyanide–ammonia or conventional cyanidation processes. The effects of the caustic soda (pH) concentration or cyanide concentration on gold extraction and copper suppression have also been studied. The results show that at high pH (>12), the gold dissolution rate increases significantly in solutions containing caustic soda and cyanide at zero, or very low free cyanide concentration.
|Gold dissolution and copper suppression during leaching of copper-gold gravity concentrates in caustic soda-low free cyanide solutions
|Dept of Mining Eng & Metallurgical Eng
|Fulltext not available
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