Gold losses by cementation and thermal reduction in the gold recovery circuits

Klein B., ALTUN N. E.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MINERAL PROCESSING, vol.98, pp.24-29, 2011 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 98
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.minpro.2010.09.001
  • Page Numbers: pp.24-29


In this study, gold losses in a carbon-in-pulp (CIP) cyanidation gold recovery process and potential sources of these losses were investigated. Gold was found in samples from different streams through the CIP-cyanidation process, pointing to incidental losses. Mineralogical studies showed that gold losses occurred in two main forms, either as attached to larger entities or in the form of dendritic precipitates. SEM and EDS studies revealed that iron bearing minerals acted as the major media in cases when gold associations were observed as losses. The highly alkaline pH (approximate to 13), elevated process temperature (approximate to 145 degrees C), and high cyanide concentration (>= 250 ppm) in the elution column along with a fine iron bearing material implied that gold attachment occurred through an electrochemical cementation mechanism. It was anticipated that the presence of iron in the process, which facilitated gold cementation, relied on the oxidative breakdown of the iron bearing minerals in the ore and/or due to the formation of porous iron oxides due to the roasting of iron sulfides in the regeneration kiln. In the elution column some part of the auro-cyanide complexes would remain non-eluted and be discharged into the carbon generation kiln and the carbon generation kiln was another section promoting gold losses. The high temperature condition in the carbon regeneration kiln (>500 degrees C) caused thermal reduction of the non-eluted auto-cyanide complexes to metallic gold, leading to the formation of dendritic gold precipitates and their eventual loss. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.