Preconcentration and pressure oxidation of Porgera refractory gold ore

Weir, D. R. ; King, J. A. ; Robinson, P. C.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
The complex mineralogy of the Porgera resource has a pronounced effect on process selection for the recovery of refractory gold and silver. Intimate association of gold with pyrite necessitates a high degree of sulphur preoxidation to achieve acceptable levels of gold recovery. Acid pressure oxidation has been demonstrated to be the only commercially proven process capable of achieving the required level of pyrite oxidation. Gangue mineralization dictates preconcentration of the sulphides to limit the acid consuming capacity and carbon dioxide generation during oxidation. However, the relationship between concentrate sulphur grade and gold recovery to concentrate ultimately governs the optimum degree of sulphide preconcentration. Minipiloting of the preconcentration and oxidation stages of the Porgera flowsheet are described. The influence of these processes on subsequent recovery of precious metals together with the technical and economic necessity of concentrate pretreatment prior to oxidation are discussed.
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