Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

The leaching and electrochemistry of gold in high purity cyanide solutions

Jeffrey, M. I. and Ritchie, I.M. (2001) The leaching and electrochemistry of gold in high purity cyanide solutions. Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 148 (4). D29.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


For the last 100 years, cyanidation has been the most important process in the extraction of gold from its ores. However, despite the large number of papers published on the reaction between gold and cyanide, there is little agreement about the kinetics and mechanism of this important reaction. In the present paper, the leaching reaction was studied as a function of solution purity using a rotating electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance. Surprisingly, the experimental results show that pure gold does not leach in highly pure aerated cyanide solutions. On the other hand, gold leaches at a measurable rate in solutions prepared using AR grade reagents. Therefore, it is not surprising that many of the past investigations have resulted in connecting data. A model based on the formation and dissolution of a chain-like film of AuCN has been proposed to account for these results. It is believed that the dissolution of AuCN only occurs at the chain ends, and the presence of impurities in the cyanide solution accelerates this process by depositing on the gold surface and increasing the number of chain ends.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Parker Cooperative Research Centre for Integrated Hydrometallurgy Solutions
Publisher: Electrochemical Society
Copyright: © 2001 The Electrochemical Society.
Item Control Page Item Control Page