A NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR ARSENIC SEQUESTRATION FROM MINING OPERATIONS

World Mining Congress
Arsenical bearing deposits are posing an increasing challenge for the mining industry. In particular, mineral processing of arsenical sulfidic ores for base and precious metals recovery tend to produce problematic arsenical tailings. This arsenic being present as sulphide or oxide, tends to dissolve, contaminating surface and underground waters. To meet the environmental regulations, it is often required to stabilize the arsenic in a more insoluble form. Nichromet has developed a new patented technology using vitrification of the arsenic oxide in an economical way, giving a stable solid, well below the environmental regulations upon leaching. This technology involves oxidation of As (III) to As (V), by using a low cost natural oxidizer and transformation of the produced arsenic oxide into calcium arsenate, which is not volatile at the melting temperature of the glass. This technology would be advantageously applied on most cases around the world where sulphide concentrates are oxidized in a fluidized bed or smelted.
Keywords: Arsenic; Glass; Oxide; formation; Costs; Cost; Calcium Arsenate; Pyrolusite; Volatilization; oxidation;
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