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Research Article

Recovery gold from refractory gold ore: Effect of pyrite on the stability of the thiourea leaching system

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  • Received: 28 May 2020Revised: 4 July 2020Accepted: 9 July 2020Available online: 12 July 2020
  • Extraction of gold from refractory gold ores without side effects is an extremely motivating goal. However, most refractory gold ores contain large amount of sulfide, such as pyrite. Herein, investigation of the influence of sulfide on gold leaching process is important for utilization of refractory gold ores. For this purpose, the effects of pyrite on the stability of the thiourea system were systematic investigated under different parameters. The results showed that the decomposition rate of thiourea was accelerated sharply by the pyrite. As further proof, the effect of pyrite on gold recovery with thiourea leaching systems was verified by a series of experiments. The decomposition efficiency of thiourea reduced by 40% and the recovery efficiency of Au increased by 56% after being removed the sulfide by roasting. Under the optimal condition, the gold recovery efficiency was 83.69% with the decomposition of thiourea of only 57.92%. Finally, we postulated that the high consumption of thiourea may be not only due to the adsorption by mineral particles, but also the catalytic decomposition by some impurities in the ores, such as pyrite and soluble ferric oxide.
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Recovery gold from refractory gold ore: Effect of pyrite on the stability of the thiourea leaching system

  • Corresponding authors:

    Xue-yi Guo    E-mail: xyguo@csu.edu.cn

    Qing-hua Tian    E-mail: qinghua@csu.edu.cn

  • 1. School of Metallurgy and Environment, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
  • 2. National & Regional Joint Engineering Research Center of Nonferrous Metal Resource Recycling, Changsha 410083, China

Abstract: Extraction of gold from refractory gold ores without side effects is an extremely motivating goal. However, most refractory gold ores contain large amount of sulfide, such as pyrite. Herein, investigation of the influence of sulfide on gold leaching process is important for utilization of refractory gold ores. For this purpose, the effects of pyrite on the stability of the thiourea system were systematic investigated under different parameters. The results showed that the decomposition rate of thiourea was accelerated sharply by the pyrite. As further proof, the effect of pyrite on gold recovery with thiourea leaching systems was verified by a series of experiments. The decomposition efficiency of thiourea reduced by 40% and the recovery efficiency of Au increased by 56% after being removed the sulfide by roasting. Under the optimal condition, the gold recovery efficiency was 83.69% with the decomposition of thiourea of only 57.92%. Finally, we postulated that the high consumption of thiourea may be not only due to the adsorption by mineral particles, but also the catalytic decomposition by some impurities in the ores, such as pyrite and soluble ferric oxide.

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