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The simultaneous oxidation of sulfide minerals and the dissolution of gold

Zhang, S. and Nicol, M.J. (2005) The simultaneous oxidation of sulfide minerals and the dissolution of gold. In: TMS Annual Meeting, 13 - 17 February, San Francisco, CA; USA pp. 265-281.


The alkaline oxidation of refractory gold concentrates containing arsenopyrite and pyrite at ambient temperatures and pressures has been found to be accompanied by the simultaneous dissolution of gold without the addition of cyanide. A detailed study has been made of the kinetics of the oxidation of the pure minerals and of several concentrates. The reaction products of the oxidation of arsenic and sulphur have been monitored using chromatographic techniques. In the case of arsenopyrite, thiosulfate, monothioarsenate, arsenate and sulfite are the principal products while thiosulfate has been confirmed to be the dominant product of pyrite oxidation. Gold, either as added powder or as a constituent of the concentrates has been found to dissolve simultaneously during the alkaline oxidation of both arsenopyrite and pyrite, and this appears to be associated with the in-situ formation of thiosulfate as a lixiviant. The effects of temperature, stirring speed, oxygen partial pressure, alkalinity and pulp density on the oxidation of arsenopyrite and the dissolution of gold have also been investigated.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: Parker Cooperative Research Centre for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions
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