The Production of Electrolytic Lead and Elementary Sulphur from Lead Sulfide Concentrates

Olper, Marco ; Hoffman, J. E. ; Maccagni, Massimo ; O&apos, ; Keefe, T. J.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 21
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1993
The research laboratory of B.U.S Engitec has identified and patented a new process for electrolytic production of lead from lead sulphide concentrates with simultaneous production of elementary sulphur. The process occurs in an aqueous solution, at atmospheric pressure, utilizing a solution of ferric fluoroborate in fluoroboric acid as the oxidizing and solubilizing medium for lead sulphide. After the filtration and separation of a residue composed of elementary sulphur and the gangue which accompanied the concentrate, the solution containing lead as fluoroborate and iron reduced to a ferrous state is sent to a diaphragm electrolytic cell where, in the cathode compartment, the lead is deposited in a compact form on the stainless steel permanent blank. The exhaust solution stripped of lead is sent to the anode compartment where the oxidation of ferrous fluoroborate into ferric fluoroboratetakes place, reproducing the oxidizing solution for new leaching. Depending on operating conditions, it is possible to selectively solubilize the lead from the other metal values present in the concentrate. The sulphur produced from the reaction may be separated from the gangue by extraction with solvent or by flotation.
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