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Open AccessArticle

Microwave Pretreatment for Thiourea Leaching for Gold Concentrate

1
Department of Rural Systems Engineering/Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
2
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea
3
Department of Energy and Resource Engineering, Chosun University, Gwangju 61452, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally.
Metals 2017, 7(10), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/met7100404
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 27 September 2017 / Published: 1 October 2017
In this research, we studied the use of microwave pretreatment to enhance the efficiency of Au leaching from gold concentrate. The gold concentrate was pretreated using microwaves with different irradiation time. The sample temperature was increased up to 950 °C by the microwave irradiation. A scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive spectrometer showed the evolution of microcracks and the reduction of sulfur on the mineral surface. X-ray diffraction data also showed the mineral phase shift from pyrite to hematite or pyrrhotite. A leaching test was conducted for the microwave-treated and untreated gold concentrates using thiourea. Although the thiourea leaching recovered 80% of Au from the untreated concentrate, from the treated concentration, the Au could be recovered completely. Au leaching efficiency increased as the microwave irradiation time increased, as well as with a higher composition of thiourea. View Full-Text
Keywords: microwave; pyrite; thiourea leaching; gold microwave; pyrite; thiourea leaching; gold
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MDPI and ACS Style

Choi, N.-C.; Kim, B.-J.; Cho, K.; Lee, S.; Park, C.-Y. Microwave Pretreatment for Thiourea Leaching for Gold Concentrate. Metals 2017, 7, 404.

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