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Leaching Kinetics of Sulfides from Refractory Gold Concentrates by Nitric Acid

Department of Non-ferrous Metals Metallurgy, Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg 620002, Russia
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Metals 2019, 9(4), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/met9040465
Received: 5 April 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leaching Kinetics of Valuable Metals)
The processing of refractory gold-containing concentrates by hydrometallurgical methods is becoming increasingly important due to the depletion of rich and easily extracted mineral resources, as well as due to the need to reduce harmful emissions from metallurgy, especially given the high content of arsenic in the ores. This paper describes the investigation of the kinetics of HNO3 leaching of sulfide gold-containing concentrates of the Yenisei ridge (Yakutia, Russia). The effect of temperature (70–85 °C), the initial concentration of HNO3 (10–40%) and the content of sulfur in the concentrate (8.22–22.44%) on the iron recovery into the solution was studied. It has been shown that increasing the content of S in the concentrate from 8.22 to 22.44% leads to an average of 45% increase in the iron recovery across the entire range temperatures and concentrations of HNO3 per one hour of leaching. The leaching kinetics of the studied types of concentrates correlates well with the new shrinking core model, which indicates that the reaction is regulated by interfacial diffusion and diffusion through the product layer. Elemental S is found on the surface of the solid leach residue, as confirmed by XRD and SEM/EDS analysis. The apparent activation energy is 60.276 kJ/mol. The semi-empirical expression describing the reaction rate under the studied conditions can be written as follows: 1/3ln(1 − X) + [(1 − X)−1/3 − 1] = 87.811(HNO3)0.837(S)2.948e−60276/RT·t. View Full-Text
Keywords: refractory gold concentrate; resources depletion; reducing harmful emissions; arsenic; nitric acid; kinetics; shrinking core model; pyrite; arsenopyrite refractory gold concentrate; resources depletion; reducing harmful emissions; arsenic; nitric acid; kinetics; shrinking core model; pyrite; arsenopyrite
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Rogozhnikov, D.A.; Shoppert, A.A.; Dizer, O.A.; Karimov, K.A.; Rusalev, R.E. Leaching Kinetics of Sulfides from Refractory Gold Concentrates by Nitric Acid. Metals 2019, 9, 465.

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