Leaching of Gold-Copper Ores Using Ammoniacal Cynide

Corrans I J,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1992
A wide variety of copper-bearing gold ores exist throughout the world which have yet to be processed economically for gold recovery. The copper minerals present in these ores can be many and varied and usually result in high cyanide consumptions and problematical levels of copper in leach solutions. The copper content is often assessed as being of nuisance value as the ores are generally of the grade or type which can support neither a copper project nor a straight gold project, due to the interference of copper. Many of these problematical gold-copper ores could possibly be processed economically for gold recovery using a novel ammoniacal cyanide leaching system which utilises a copper-ammonia-cyanide complex as an effective lixiviant for gold, yet limits copper dissolution and conserves cyanide. Results from recent testing have promoted a re-evaluation of the economics of treating some gold-copper ores. This paper describes the novel leaching process and discusses the conditions employed to treat a variety of gold-copper ores.
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