Characterisation and modelling of the behaviour of gold-silver competitive co-adsorption in CIL/CIP circuits
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© 2016 TAPPI Press. All rights reserved. The processing of gold ores with high silver contents can provide operational challenges, such as high cyanide consumption, retardation of gold leaching and competition during adsorption stages of carbon-in-pulp/leach/column (CIP/CIL/CIC) circuits. In particular, the silver, which is about 1.5% of the value of gold, competes with gold during carbon adsorption due to its higher concentration in many Ag-Au ores, potentially leading to gold solution losses. Fresh and partially fouled (barren and regenerated) activated carbons were evaluated at various Ag:Au ratios and total metal concentrations with regard to the adsorption kinetics and equilibrium loadings. Conventional Freundlich isotherms were found to be highly inaccurate for predicting equilibrium loadings in the competitive adsorption environment. An integrated model, which incorporates competitive adsorption kinetics with a modified competitive adsorption isotherm model has been developed and validated using plant and laboratory data. The model performance and some of its salient features will be discussed.
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