Gold recovery from alkaline cyanide solutions by electrochemical elution of strong-base anionic polymeric resins

Breguncci, V. A. L. ; Martins, A. H. ; Ribeiro Jr., C. P.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
This work presents experimental results for the recovery of gold present in alkaline cyanide solutions by using the electroelution technique of strong-base anionic polymeric resins IRA 402-CL from Rhom and Haas-Brazil Ltd. loaded with gold. This technique of electroelution of anionic polymeric resins is based on the removal of metal ions adsorbed to the resin, resulting from a potential difference applied between the cathode and anode in an electrolytic cell. The electrolytic cell was composed of an aqueous solution with suitable chemical characteristics and an anionic polymeric resin bed loaded with gold. The resin used in the experiments was loaded using synthetic alkaline gold cyanide solution with 1.0 g/L of gold. The variables studied were electroelution time, cathode current density, distance between cathode and anode and the electrolyte chemical composition. Statistical methods made it possible to establish the optimum conditions that would achieve satisfactory gold recoveries by the electroelution technique. The statistically predicted response for the resin loaded with gold by percolation was 16.5% gold recovery, 2.0 A/m2 cathode current density, 20-mm distance between electrodes and 6.0 hrs electroelution time. For the centrifuging system, the statistically predicted response was 7.41% gold recovery under the following conditions: 0.25 A/m2 cathode current density, 1-mm distance between electrodes, 3.5 hrs electroelution time and 10.9% NaOH in the electrolyte chemical composition.
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