Sulfuric acid baking—water leaching for gold enrichment and arsenic removal from gold concentrate

Bongju Kim, Chulhyun Park, Kanghee Cho, Jaehyun Kim, Nagchoul Choi, Soonjae Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

During the roasting of gold concentrate to improve gold recovery, arsenic is released into the air and valuable elements such as Fe, Cu, Zn, and Pb are converted into oxide minerals. In this research, we evaluated the release of As and the loss of valuable metals during the acid baking and hot water leaching processes used for gold concentrate. The acid bake tests were conducted for gold concentrate using an electric furnace by applying various concentrations of H2SO4 solution under different baking times. The water leaching process was enacted using 70 °C water for the baked samples. Chemical and mineral compositions of the raw and treated samples were analyzed using AAS and XRD, respectively. The results show that soluble metal sulfates, such as rhomboclase and mikasite, were formed in the baked samples, and that the leaching of valuable metals (Fe, Cu, Zn, and Pb) was accelerated during the hot water leaching procedure. During acid baking, arsenic was partially removed by volatilization, and the rest of the arsenic‐containing minerals were converted to soluble minerals. The soluble arsenic‐containing mineral resulted in a dissolution that was 60 times higher than in the roasted sample. The maximum gold grade of solid residues increased up to 33% through the acid baking–water leaching process. It was confirmed that acid baking with H2SO4 prevented As release into the air, as well as the recovery of valuable metals through hot water leaching, such as Fe, Cu, Zn, and Pb, which were formerly discarded in the tailings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1332
JournalMinerals
Volume11
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Keywords

  • Acid baking
  • Arsenic
  • Gold concentrate
  • Hot water leaching
  • Soluble metal sulfate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology

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