A Pyrolysis Approach to Refractory Gold Processing

Fletcher A, ; Walker A, ; Anylmore M,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1992
Roasting of sulphide and sulph-arsenide gold ores produces unwanted emission of sulphur and arsenic oxides, and a less than complete recovery of gold. Pyrite loses sulphur and arsenopyrite loses arsenic at a useful rate at temperatures of 600¦C and above in an inert atmosphere. Sulphur and arsenic driven off can be condensed before entering the atmosphere. During the process, solid-solution gold redistributes itself on internal surfaces of the resulting iron sulphide. Two subsequent processing options may be used; direct cyanidation of the porous sulphide resulting from the anoxic pyrolysis, or a second-stage roast to oxidise the remaining iron sulphide. The first option may be viable under certain conditions of pyrolysis. The two-stage option has an environmental advantage over the traditional roast because it reduces oxide vapour emissions by 50 per cent. The second stage may provide nearly enough energy to sustain the entire process.
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