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Utilisation of steel slags as neutralising agents in biooxidation of a refractory gold concentrate and their influence on the subsequent cyanidation
Boliden Mineral AB.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Sustainable Process Engineering.
2011 (English)In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, E-ISSN 1879-0658, Vol. 55, no 5, p. 541-547Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A study on the possibilities to utilise steel slag as neutralising agent in biooxidation of a refractory gold concentrate has been done with reference to commercial grade slaked lime. The idea has been to reduce the operating costs for neutralisation in the biooxidation plant, which is known to be the second largest operating cost. Other benefits would be savings in cost for landfilling of slag, possibilities to recycle elements present in the slag and savings of virgin limestone deposits. The slags used were an EAF slag and a slag from ladle refining; both originating from Swedish scrap based steel-making. Continuous biooxidation of the refractory gold concentrate was conducted in a single-stage 5 L reactor at a retention time of 56 h. The neutralisation capacity was determined by comparing the amount needed, per ton of feed concentrate added, to maintain the desired pH of 1.5 during steady state operation. Slaked lime had the highest neutralisation capacity with 110 kg/ton feed followed by ladle slag and EAF slag with values of 152 and 267 kg/ton feed, respectively. Sulphide mineral oxidation was similar and high in all cases although the ladle slag results were slightly better. Gold recoveries after cyanide leaching on the residues obtained were also similar and were in the range of 86–89%. However, the cyanide consumption expressed as kilogram cyanide per ton of concentrate fed to biooxidation, was double in the case of ladle slag and three times as much for the EAF slag compared to the slaked lime experiment. The increased cyanide consumption could not be explained only by the increased amount of elemental sulphur obtained in the slag experiments. The elemental sulphur formed had different reactivities as seen from the thiocyanate formation and cyanide losses due to thiocyanate formation were 16%, 32% and 40% for EAF slag, slaked lime and ladle slag, respectively. It is concluded that the ladle slag could be a possible replacement for limestone if they are mixed in proper proportions so that the microbial carbon dioxide demand is met whereas the EAF slag is less suitable due to the very fine reaction products obtained which gave operational problems with filtration and washing. To come further, experiments with the normal multi-stage biooxidation set-up with total retention time of 120 h should be performed which would increase the sulphur oxidation and eventually also reduce the cyanide consumption.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 55, no 5, p. 541-547
National Category
Metallurgy and Metallic Materials
Research subject
Process Metallurgy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-9285DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2011.01.005ISI: 000289327800006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-79952536755Local ID: 7dfd50b0-c3e3-11df-a707-000ea68e967bOAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-9285DiVA, id: diva2:982223
Note
Validerad; 2011; 20100919 (sekgah)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved

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Gahan, Chandra SekharEngström, FredrikSandström, Åke

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