Pressure oxidation of pyrite-arsenopyrite refractory gold concentrate
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Aalto University
Jari Aromaa   

Aalto University, Department of Materials Science. P.O. Box 16200, Aalto, Espoo, Finland
Publication date: 2013-01-01
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2013;49(1):101–109
Refractory gold ores have poor gold recoveries with direct cyanide leaching. Typically the refractoriness is due to encapsulation of the gold particles inside the host mineral. To liberate gold for leaching the host mineral must be broken by mechanical or chemical means. The aim of this study was to study the effect of temperature, oxygen partial pressure and slurry density on pressure oxidation of pyrite- arsenopyrite gold concentrate. Batch oxidation tests in an autoclave were done using a factorial design. Different responses were measured and analysed to study effect of the three factors and oxidation kinet- ics. Generally, high slurry density required high temperature and oxygen partial pressure to reach com- plete oxidation. Oxidation kinetics at 225°C temperature, with 1050 kPa oxygen partial pressure and 15% slurry density was found to be fastest resulting in complete conversion of sulfides in 30 minutes. At 195°C, 700 kPa oxygen partial pressure and 10% slurry density, the oxidation kinetics for complete sul- fide conversion was about 60 minutes. Slurry densities above 10% had an adverse effect on the oxidation rate, when the temperature was below 225°C and oxygen partial pressure below 1050 kPa.