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Effect of Pretreatment of Sulfide Refractory Concentrate with Sodium Hypochlorite, Followed by Extraction of Gold by Pressure Cyanidation, on Gold Removal

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DOI: 10.4236/aces.2013.33021    8,571 Downloads   15,525 Views Citations

ABSTRACT

The majority of the refractory gold and silver occurs in occlusion in sulphides, then precious metal dissolution is possible by first oxidizing auriferous sulfide concentrate using sodium hypochlorite-sodium-hydroxide solution followed of pressure cyanidation of the oxidized concentrate, for the extraction of precious metals. This process was conducted and evaluated under cyanide and oxygen pressure. This versatile approach offers many advantages, including low temperatures, low pressure and less costly materials of construction than conventional pressure oxidation. In this study, the effect of oxygen pressure, concentration of sodium hypochlorite, temperature, and initial pH, in precious metals recovery and As removal were evaluated using a 24 factorial design. Characterization of the ores showed that pyrite and arsenopyrite were the main minerals present on the concentrate. The best results for gold extraction were obtained with oxygen pressure of 80 psi, 10% (w/w) sodium hypochlorite, temperature of 80, at pH = 13, and a constant stirring speed of 600 rpm. These conditions allowed an approximated 60% of gold and 90% of silver extractions in 1 hr.

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A. Valenzuela, J. Valenzuela and J. Parga, "Effect of Pretreatment of Sulfide Refractory Concentrate with Sodium Hypochlorite, Followed by Extraction of Gold by Pressure Cyanidation, on Gold Removal," Advances in Chemical Engineering and Science, Vol. 3 No. 3, 2013, pp. 171-177. doi: 10.4236/aces.2013.33021.

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