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ArticleName Development of a sustainable technology for the recovery of gold from the tailings of the Uchalinsky concentrator
DOI 10.17580/or.2019.05.09
ArticleAuthor Byvaltsev A. V., Sharipov R. Kh., Vasilyev E. A., Rudoy G. N.

Irgiredmet JSC (Irkutsk, Russia):
Byvaltsev A. V., Leading Researcher, Candidate of Engineering Sciences


JSC «Uchalinsky GOK» (Uchaly, Russia):
Sharipov R. Kh., Chief Dresser


UMMC-Holding Corporation (Verkhnyaya Pyshma, Russia):
Vasilyev E. A., Head of Department, Candidate of Engineering Sciences,
Rudoy G. N., Director of Mining, Candidate of Engineering Sciences


A series of studies were carried out to develop a sustainable (costeffective) technology for the additional recovery of Au, Ag, Cu, and Zn from the tailings of the Uchalinsky concentrator (UC). Laboratory studies of concentration, pyro- and hydrometallurgical processing methods were completed. Economic viability was confirmed only for Au recovery from the UC tailings by cyanidation. The cyanidation conditions were optimized; extended laboratory dynamic tests were performed on the tailings of the initial size and after bead grinding. The recovery of gold was 30.4 % for the initial size tailings and 42.0 % for the tailings crushed to 30 μm, with the moderate consumption of NaCN of 0.3–0.6 kg/t. Test studies on the detoxification of cyanidation tailings by chlorination were conducted. Due to the high chlorine consumption for the solid phase, the process of countercurrent decantation processing with chlorination is recommended. Based on the results of the laboratory tests, technical and economic calculations were carried out. Economic viability was established for the options involving the processing of new or mature tailings of the initial size. Pilot tests were then conducted with the cyanidation of UC tailings for a sample weighing 67 tons. During the tests, the gold recovery of 30.8 % was achieved, with the NaCN consumption of 0.135 kg/t. When included in the feasibility analysis, the data render positive economic indicators for the production process. Further development of the technology under consideration in the future will ensure additional profit for the Uchalinsky Mining and Processing Plant. Respective tailings processing is therefore recommended for similar enterprises in the industry.

keywords Uchalinsky concentrator, copper-zinc flotation tailings, technogenic raw materials, gold recovery, cyanidation, neutralization, economic viability

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