Chlorine Based Flooded Pit Leaching of Oxide Gold Deposits

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1992
The capacity of chlorine based solutions to rapidly and effectively dissolve coarse gold in oxide ores is well established. The inherent advantages of chlorine are high dissolution rates (10 - 100 times those of cyanide), and low cost. The high dissolution rates mean that coarse or poorly liberated gold may be dissolved over relatively short periods and hence ore particle size may cease to be such a critical factor. The cost of size reduction to allow adequate gold liberation in order to achieve an adequate gold recovery is less of a consideration when using chlorine than in traditional plant or heap leaching cyanide-based treatment systems.Because chlorine based solutions capable of dissolving gold evolve an unpleasant vapour phase with the potential for significant chlorine losses into the atmosphere, traditional heap leaching with active solutions being sprayed onto prepared heaps is not possible. The ore must be covered and the solution may be introduced beneath that cover through prepared injection `wells' and recovered through production 'wells'. The pit is flooded with active solution beneath an overburden or cover with the solution migrating from the injection 'wells' to the production 'wells' over a period of around five - ten days.
Full Article Download:
(308 kb)