Removal and Recovery of Thallium from Impure Lead
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1989
Thallium is largely volatilized during sintering in the conventional sinter/blast furnace production of lead. The new direct oxygen smelting processes will force the thallium into the bullion, necessitating a means of removal to avoid contamination of the refined lead. Pilot plant testwork demonstrated that thallium was efficiently removed from lead bullion by treatment with molten zinc chloride. The spent zinc chloride salt was treated in the laboratory to recover lead sulphate, a zinc chloride solution, and a thallous chloride salt containing over 80% thallium. Cominco is installing this thallium process as part of its Trail Lead Smelter Modernization Program which will commission a QSL bath smelter in late 1989.