Gold and Silver Recovery from Waihi Ore, New Zealand

Quast K B,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1991
The ore used in this test program was a composite sample from Waihi, New Zealand containing 2.7 g/t gold and 36 g/t silver. From the testwork it was found that a high concentration of sodium cyanide (0.1 per cent) was necessary to ensure a high recovery of both gold and silver. There appeared little chance for either differential leaching or adsorption of gold and silver. The addition of bentonite clay decreased the rates of gold and silver dissolution. The addition of 50 g/1 NaCI had little influence on the rate of silver extraction. The addition of 5 g/l carbon gave adsorptions of 70 per cent of the gold and 35 per cent of the silver, indicating the possible presence of base metal cyanides in solution. The addition of excess sodium sulphide only precipitated 70 per cent of the silver in solution, adding further evidence to the presence of base metal sulphides. The production of separate silver and gold products was not possible by either preferential leaching, preferential adsorption of gold on carbon or preferential precipitation of silver.
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