Gold passivation: Reconciling cyanidation circuit performancesusing laboratory testing

CIM Journal, Vol. 4, No. 3, 2013
A. Azizi, C. Olsen, and C. Gagnon COREM, Quebec, Quebec, Canada A. Bouajila G Mining Services, Brossard, Quebec, Canada M. Ourriban Gestion Iamgold – Quebec Inc., Longueuil, Quebec, Canada P. Blatter Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. – LaRonde Division, Cadillac, Quebec, Canada F. Larachi Université Laval, Quebec, Quebec, Canada

In-situ monitoring of gold dissolution by means of a rotating electrochemical
quartzcrystal microbalance unveiled dramatic decreases in gold leaching from
sulphide-rich ore after 360 minutes in an actual cyanidation circuit.
Pre-oxidation was effective in enhancing gold extraction by preventing a passive
film from forming on gold surfaces. This work aims to highlight efforts
undertaken to determine (1) how gold cyanidation is limited by passivation, (2)
what reactions and mechanisms are involved during sulphide-rich ore cyanidation,
and (3) how peroxidation efficiency of an industrial sulphide ore is controlled
by galvanic associations between its sulphide constituents.
RÉSUMÉ Le suivi in situ de la dissolution de l’or au moyen
d’une microbalance électrochimique rotative à cristal de quartz a révélé des
diminutions phénoménales de lixiviation de l’or à partir d’un minerai riche en
sulfures après 360 minutes dans un véritable circuit de cyanuration. La
pré-oxydation a efficacement accru l’extraction de l’or en empêchant la
formation d’un film passif sur les surfaces de l’or. Le travail visait à
souligner les efforts entrepris pour déterminer (1) comment la cyanuration de
l’or est limité par la passivation, (2) quelles réactions et quels mécanismes
sont impliqués durant la cyanuration de minerais riches en sulfures et (3)
comment l’efficacité de la peroxydation d’un minerai industriel sulfuré est
contrôlé par les associations galvaniques entre les constituants
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