Electrochemical evaluation of petzite leaching
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Linear scan voltammetry was used to determine the reactions that occur during the cyanidation of petzite (Ag 3AuTe 2). Gold oxidation in petzite requires more oxidising conditions than are required for pure gold, it also does not achieve the same current (related to reaction rate). Tellurium oxidation occurs at a similar potential in water and cyanide, but as a component of petzite is impeded somewhat in water, likely due to the stability of the precious metals. Pre-treatment of petzite to oxidise tellurium in the absence of cyanide prior to gold recovery appears to be at least moderately successful.