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ArticleName Understanding some regularities of gold extraction from secondary pyrite materials using sulphate-sulphite leach solutions
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2023.02.01
ArticleAuthor Sachkov V. I., Nefedov R. A., Amelichkin I. V., Medvedev R. O.

National Research Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia:

V. I. Sachkov, Associate Professor, Head of the Chemical Technology Laboratory, Doctor of Chemical Sciences
R. A. Nefedov, Senior Researcher, Candidate of Chemical Sciences
I. V. Amelichkin, Junior Researcher
R. O. Medvedev, Junior Researcher, e-mail:


This paper looks at the tailings of collective and zinc flotation. Thus, the authors examined elemental and phase compositions of primary material, as well as the distribution of elements on grain surface. It was established that pyrite material is not easily processable and the application of classical cyanide process to it would lack cost efficiency. The paper examines the applicability of sulphite-sulphate leach solutions for gold extraction into liquor and the effect of process parameters on gold recovery when using sodium sulphite and sodium suphate containing solutions. It was found that if the total concentration of lixiviants exceeds 0.15 mol/L, the gold balance tends to shift towards the solid phase, which may be attributed to a decreased activity of complexing ligands linked to a rising ionic strength of the solution. The minimum gold concentration in the liquor was registered at pH = 8…9, which may well be attributed to a passivating film that forms out of adsorbed oxygen and gold hydroxide Au(OH)3. It was established that the recovery of gold tends to drop as the process duration increases. Thus, the maximum concentration of gold in the liquor was reached in the first hour of the process. After that the concentration tends to drop as the complex decomposes and gold precipitates in metallic form or in the form of insoluble compounds. The highest recovery of gold into liquor was reached at a concentration of sodium sulphite and sodium sulphate of 40 and 35 mmol/L, correspondingly; pH = 7, process duration of 1 hour and ambient temperature. The above combination of process parameters resulted in a 67% recovery.
Contributors to this paper include junior researcher P. S. Shcherbakov, junior researcher D. I. Leonov, junior researcher V. S. Soloviev, associate professor A. S. Sachkova, Candidate of Biological Sciences; laboratory assistant D. A. Biryukov.

keywords Gold, pyrite, flotation tailings, recovery, refractory ore, sulphurcontaining ligands

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