TREATMENT OF A GOLD REFRACTORY CONCENTRATE WITH HALOGENS
A gold bearing pyrite concentrate was treated at the pilot scale for the extraction of gold. Mineralogical analysis of the concentrate identified gold to be mainly present in the form of a solid solution in pyrite. This gold distribution resulted in a poor extraction yield of 55% by direct cyanidation. A piloting campaign including an oxidative pre-treatment by roasting in a fluid bed was followed by treatment with halogens for gold extraction has led to a gold extraction yield of 96.5%. Sulphur removal during the oxidation was very efficient at >99.5% and gold extraction by the halogens was completed within a 1 hour contact time. The piloting was performed on a 300 kg sample and uses a diluted solution of hypohalites as the oxidizing agent for gold extraction. Sulphuric acid was injected in the reactor during the halogens treatment to lower pH to 2. The diluted solution of hypohalites (1-3%) was generated by electrolysis during the piloting campaign in a membrane-less electrolysis cell. The extracted gold was recovered over activated carbon in column and the gold depleted brine was treated for impurities removal and recycled for further gold extraction. With the recycling of water and brine, the regeneration of hypohalites and with a barren solid that is inert and stable, the Nichromet Extraction technology is a green process where the protection of the environment does not preclude profitability.
Gold; brine; gold extraction; Process; Processes; Ore; Ores; Ore;