Gold Refining By Solvent Extraction - The Minataur? Process

Feather, A.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1997
The Minataur? Process (Mintek Alternative Technology for Au Refining) is a novel route for the production of high-purity gold using solvent extraction. Following the successful demonstration of the process on a pilot-plant scale, a full-scale 24 t/a production plant has been commissioned at Harmony Gold Mine in Virginia, Free State. The commercial implementation of this process represents not only a significant advance in gold-refining technology, but may be instrumental in initiating important changes in the legislation regulating the marketing of gold in South Africa. Gold of either 99.99% or 99.999% purity can be produced from intermediate process products having a wide range of gold contents. The process comprises oxidative leaching of the solid feed, followed by selective solvent extraction of the gold from the leach liquor to reject impurities, and precipitation of high-purity gold powder. This paper outlines the process, presents selected results of two pilot-plant trials in which 5 kg/d of high-purity gold was produced from silver-refining anode slime and gold-electrowinning cathode sludge, and provides some details of the cost benefits.
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