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Metals 2017, 7(6), 222; doi:10.3390/met7060222

A Review of Thiosulfate Leaching of Gold: Focus on Thiosulfate Consumption and Gold Recovery from Pregnant Solution

School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
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Received: 26 April 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Valuable Metal Recycling)
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Abstract

Thiosulfate leaching is a promising alternative to cyanidation, and the main hindrances for its wide commercial application are the high thiosulfate consumption and the difficult recovery of dissolved gold. In this review, the four solutions to reduce the consumption of thiosulfate, including the control of reaction conditions, the use of additives, the generation of thiosulfate in situ, and the replacement of traditional cupric-ammonia catalysis, are introduced and evaluated after the presentation of background knowledge about thiosulfate consumption. The replacement of cupric-ammonia catalysis with other metals, such as nickel- and cobalt-based catalysts, is proposed. The reason is that it not only reduces thiosulfate consumption observably via decreasing the redox potential of leach solution significantly but also is beneficial to gold recovery mainly owing to eliminating the interference of cuprous thiosulfate [Cu(S2O3)3]5−. Based on the comparative analysis for five common recovery techniques of rare-noble metals from pregnant leach solution, ion-exchange resin adsorption is considered to be the most appropriate to recover aurothiosulfate [Au(S2O3)2]3− because the resin can be employed in the form of resin-in-leach/pulp and, furthermore, is able to be eluted and regenerated simultaneously at ambient temperature. At last, how to reduce the process cost of the resin adsorption technique is discussed. In order to simplify the complex two-stage elution process for loaded resins, the traditional catalysis is suggested to be replaced. View Full-Text
Keywords: gold; thiosulfate leaching; nickel- and cobalt-based catalysts; gold recovery; resin adsorption gold; thiosulfate leaching; nickel- and cobalt-based catalysts; gold recovery; resin adsorption
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MDPI and ACS Style

Xu, B.; Kong, W.; Li, Q.; Yang, Y.; Jiang, T.; Liu, X. A Review of Thiosulfate Leaching of Gold: Focus on Thiosulfate Consumption and Gold Recovery from Pregnant Solution. Metals 2017, 7, 222.

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