Kyle, J.H., Breuer, P.L., Bunney, K.G., Pleysier, R. and May, P.M. (2011) Review of trace toxic elements (Pb, Cd, Hg, As, Sb, Bi, Se, Te) and their deportment in gold processing. Part 1: Mineralogy, aqueous chemistry and toxicity. Hydrometallurgy, 107 (3-4). pp. 91-100.
A literature review on the deportment of trace toxic elements (Pb, Cd, Hg, As, Sb, Bi, Se, and Te) in gold processing by cyanidation is presented which compiles the current knowledge in this area and highlights the gaps. This review, together with further research on the gaps in the thermodynamics and kinetics of these systems, aims to support the development of computer models to predict the chemical speciation and deportment of these elements through the various stages of the gold cyanidation process. The first part of this review is a collation of the relevant information on trace element mineralogy, aqueous chemistry and toxicity, together with a comparison of two available software packages (JESS and OLI) for thermodynamic modelling. Chemical speciation modelling can assist in understanding the chemistry of the trace toxic elements in gold cyanidation solutions which remains largely unexplored. Many significant differences exist between the predicted speciation of these trace elements for different types of modelling software due to differences in the thermodynamic data used, the paucity of data that exists under appropriate non-ideal conditions, and the methods used by the software packages to estimate thermodynamic parameters under these conditions. The toxicity and environmental guidelines of the chosen trace element species that exist in aqueous solutions are discussed to better understand the health and environmental risks associated with the presence of these elements in gold ores.