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Aqueous oxidation of gold-bearing sulphides


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Author Mena MG and Ostrea AM


Aqueous oxidation in an autoclave at ele- vated temperatures and oxygen partial pres- sures is applied to Philippine gold-bearing sulfide ores and concentrates which respond poorly to conventional cyanidation. The gold concentrates are recovered from ores and tail- ings material using the patented OMLI Process (the OMLI Process is able to upgrade tailings material analyzing 0.50 g/t Au to a concen- trate with a grade of 5 g/t Au or better). The results show that with aqueous pre- oxidation of the concentrates ahead of cyani- dation a four-fold increase in gold recovery is obtained compared with straight cyanida- tion. The observed differences in response to the pre-treatment step between various mate- rials are correlated with their mineralogical composition. The chemistry of aqueous oxida- tion is also presented.