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ArticleName A study into the feasibility of gold recovery from aged dump tailings of gold-recovery plants
DOI 10.17580/or.2015.03.08
ArticleAuthor Abdykirova G. Zh., Bekturganov N. S., Dyusenova S. B., Tanekeeva M. Sh., Sukurov B. M.

Center of Earth Sciences, Metallurgy and Ore Benefication JSC (Republic of Kazakhstan):

Abdykirova G. Zh., Ph. D. in Engineering Sciences, Leading Researcher,
Tanekeeva M. Sh., Researcher,

Dyusenova S. B., Leading Engineer,

Sukurov B. M., Ph. D. in Engineering Sciences, Leading Engineer


JSC National Scientific and Technological Holding «Parasat» (Republic of Kazakhstan):

Bekturganov N. S., Doctor of Engineering Sciences, Academician of National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Scientific Consultant of Joint Stock Company,


The paper presents the results of mineralogical-and-processing studies, performed on aged gold-containing dump tailings. According to the X-ray phase analysis data, the following minerals are identified in the sample: quartz, sericite, chlorite, feldspar, muscovite and sulfides. Iron oxygenates, present in the aged dump tailings sample, imply that sulfide minerals (pyrite, chalcopyrite), contained in the tailings, were oxidized with formation of oxides, hydroxides, sulfates and iron carbonates through long-term exposure to the climatic environmental conditions. The experiments in the tailing material processing by gravity and flotation methods were conducted. The tests results showed, that the sample contained fine gold, therefore, production of final tailings with Au grade below 0.6 g/t seemed to be impossible. The results of gold-containing tailings processing by means of stage flotation are presented, and a possible production of concentrate with gold grade of 6.6 g/t, yield being 15.67 %, is demonstrated. This is not a saleable concentrate, but it permits to subject a relatively small fraction of flotation concentrate to cyanidation, thus reducing operational costs in gold-containing concentrate processing.

keywords Gold-containing tailings, sieve analysis, phase composition, SEM investigation results, concentrate, recovery

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