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Minerals 2018, 8(9), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8090392

Two-Stage SART Process: A Feasible Alternative for Gold Cyanidation Plants with High Zinc and Copper Contents

1
Advanced Mining Technology Center (AMTC), University of Chile, Av. Tupper 2007 (AMTC Building), Santiago 8370451, Chile
2
Department of Chemistry, Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana, Las Palmeras 3360, Ñuñoa, Santiago 7800002, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract

The SART (sulfidization, acidification, recycling, and thickening) process (SP) has been successfully implemented in gold cyanidation plants to address issues associated with high cyanide-soluble copper content ores. However, this process could produce a relatively low grade precipitate, decreasing the sale price when gold plants have high zinc and copper content in their solutions. A potential option in this case would be the use of a two-stage SART process (TSSP) to produce separate zinc and copper precipitates. The additional equipment involved with this process would increase the capital cost, thereby generating concerns about the optimal range of metal contents that could justify this option. This study presents a methodology to quantify the feasible range of Cu/Zn concentrations that would justify a two-stage SART process. The study is based on a thermodynamic model and a simple economic evaluation. Results show the TSSP is preferred when the Cu/Zn ratio ranges between 0.2 and 1.5 with copper concentration higher than 500 mg/L. The TSSP appears to be a viable option to consider for gold plants having concentrations of copper and zinc higher than 200 mg/L for both metals. View Full-Text
Keywords: SART process; Merrill–Crowe process; cyanidation plants; cyanide recovery SART process; Merrill–Crowe process; cyanidation plants; cyanide recovery
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Estay, H.; Gim-Krumm, M.; Quilaqueo, M. Two-Stage SART Process: A Feasible Alternative for Gold Cyanidation Plants with High Zinc and Copper Contents. Minerals 2018, 8, 392.

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