Gold in potash ores of the Starobin deposit
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Belarus State Geological Company
Publication date: 1998-01-01
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 1998;32(1):275-280
Preliminary investigations were conducted to evaluate gold content in the potash ores of the Starobin deposit in Belarus. The composition of potash ores is: KCl (22–27%); NaCl (63–74%) and insoluble residue (ir), (4– 10%). Reserves of salt ores in Belarus are approximately equal to a few billion tons. Samples of ores and various products including undersize of arch screens, over- and underflow of hydrocyclones, mill discharges, concentrates and tailings of flotation, and products from a slime pond of three flotation plants were analyzed. Also samples from a hallurgic (saline) plant processing including raw ore, pile tailings, product from a slime pond, and residua of thickeners were examined. The samples were screened with a 2 or 0.8 mm sieve and processed using a Knelson-7.5 centrifugal concentrator and hand pans. The light and heavy fractions were separated in bromoform. Free gold in the heavy fraction was analyzed with a microscope. The size of gold particles was determined and the microprobe analysis was carried out. The gold content was determined in all products of the processing of the potash ores and their salt solutions by means of the fire assay and combined fire assay-emission analysis. It was shown that the free gold particles size is from 25 to 250 microns and the shape of the particles is plate-like. The fineness of gold was very high and silver, copper and palladium represented the main admixtures. These complex investigations permitted to detect gold in potash ores. Its concentration was considerably higher than the content of gold in the Earth’s crust (clarke) and directly depended on the volume of insoluble residue in ores. Similarly to gold, increased concentration of silver were detected in the ores.
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