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The effect of chloride ions on the oxidation of pyrite under pressure oxidation conditions

Nicol, M.J. and Liu, J.Q. (2003) The effect of chloride ions on the oxidation of pyrite under pressure oxidation conditions. In: Hydrometallurgy 2003: Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium, 24 - 27 August, Vancouver, Canada pp. 591-602.


One of the preferred methods for the recovery of gold from refractory gold ores and concentrates involves pressure oxidation in acidic solutions. The main refractory goldcontaining minerals are pyrite and arsenopyrite and there is evidence that the presence of even small amounts of chloride can inhibit the oxidation of these minerals and also substantially reduce the recovery of gold. In this paper, the results of a study of the anodic (oxidation) and cathodic (reduction) behaviour of pyrite electrodes in acidic sulfate solutions containing ferric ions at different chloride concentrations and temperatures up to 200°C and pressures of 2000KPa are presented. The electrochemical studies have been complemented by pressure oxidation experiments on a refractory gold concentrate. Results have shown that, as the chloride concentration increases, the anodic reactivity of pyrite is largely unaffected but the rate of the cathodic reduction of iron(III) decreases. The rate of oxidation of a sulfide concentrate and the recovery of gold by cyanidation of the residues decreases at high concentrations of chloride.

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