Non-cyanide Leaching Processes in Gold Hydrometallurgy and Iodine-Iodide Applications: A Review


MINERAL PROCESSING AND EXTRACTIVE METALLURGY REVIEW, vol.36, no.3, pp.198-212, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Gold is one of the most important sources of currency entry in the economics of any state. Besides mining raw materials, fit for effective gold extraction, residues of gold extraction factories are the source of this precious metal. Moreover, the role of industrial wastes, which has a rich source of nonferrous and noble metals, increases. Processing expediency of complicated wastes is determined by their harmful ecological influence on the environment. Involving to processing of gold, the enumerated sources demands the use of high leading technologies, taking into account the variety of their composition. One of the ways of increasing effectiveness of processing the gold-containing materials may be introduction of direct hydrometallurgy processes. Hydrometallurgical methods of processing differ in low power capacity, simplicity of implement process, decreasing pollution of the environment. It is necessary for this not only to sort out selective solvents, but also to elaborate methods of regeneration and recycling of the used solutions and solvents. At present leaching of gold-containing raw materials by cyanide is the main hydrometallurgical process and the main advantage of cyanide is high selectivity with regard to gold. However, leaching by cyanide solutions has a set of substantial drawbacks: process duration, high cost of the reagent, nonadaptability of "stubborn" ores and concentrates, absence of possible regeneration of cyanide solutions and the main thing is high toxicity of cyanide compounds. Therefore elaboration of new hydrometallurgical methods of extracting gold using selective nontoxic reagents, in particular, iodine solutions is important scientific and practical task.