In-Situ Leaching of Oxide Gold Deposits

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1991
In-situ leaching of gold deposits has not become an option largely as a result the lack of suitability of cyanide as a lixiviant due to sluggish kinetics and high dependence on the availability of oxygen. A second problem area is the excessive cost of drilling the required number of injection and production wells needed to service a wellfield capable of maintaining any significant throughput or providing and acceptable level of gold production. Well spacing in in-situ leaching operations is limited by solution life, dissolution rate, and the need for solution control. With cyanide the life of an active solution capable of dissolving significant gold is severely limited by the availability of oxygen which cannot be readily replaced while the solution remains underground. The extremely slow gold dissolution rate also necessitates excessive contact periods in order to dissolve coarse gold.
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