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High Sulfur Gold Ore ​Heap Leaching (5 replies)

Maya Rothman
7 months ago
Maya Rothman 7 months ago

I was wondering if anyone has had experience in heap leaching of gold ores with sulfur content ( 0.1 to 1 percent)

Some suggestions for pretreatment or treatment of such ores by heap leaching process.

John Koenig
7 months ago
John Koenig 7 months ago

In most cases there is no need to pretreat ores with such low S. It depends on the form of S is in and if gold is exposed enough to be leached.

Dizzy Flores
7 months ago
Dizzy Flores 7 months ago

The unit and capital costs of heap leaching often justify processing ore with very low recovery. I recommend doing lab scale tests to answer two main questions:

What benefit does crushing have on ultimate recovery - run of mine ore versus a crushed feed.

Initial lime requirements over an extended leach cycle. The sulfides will likely oxidize over a long period of time so that lime sufficient for a 60 day test may not give a good value for lime additions on a permanent pad.

Helena Russell
7 months ago
Helena Russell 7 months ago

Up at 1 percent sulphur, keep it off your heap. The lime consumption will be huge and your solution off your heap can go acidic, creating all kinds of havoc with iron, copper, nickel, zinc, or whatever other metals you have in your ore. Cyanide consumption will go way up and carbon can get way overloaded with base metal cyanide complexes, which will cut down your gold loading capability. All this can be dealt with, but do an extensive cost analysis first. That wasn't done on a heap leach I worked on and that section of the heap had to be abandoned.

Alan Carter
7 months ago
Alan Carter 7 months ago

Do appropriate testwork prior to planning anything. Advise based on people's experience is great, but only proper test work will prove it up. In addition, make certain that you characterize the orebody properly. Variations in oxidation level, clay content, and a whole myriad of other subtle changes that could impact recovery, fluid percolation, and heap stability need to be understood.

Bill Fraser
7 months ago
Bill Fraser 7 months ago

The best recommended method is CIL/CIP to recovery gold in a sulphide ore and you must design condition tanks for per treatment of sulfur, in this condition tanks you must dose lime of at least 12 pH, induced oxygen (either by having oxygen plant or dosing hydrogen peroxides.

if the option is using oxygen plant ,reactor must be induced in conditional tanks to accelerate oxidizing of sulfur.

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