Activation and Deactivation Effects of Lead on Gold Cyanidation
The addition of lead to a gold leaching reactor can effectively accelerate or retard the gold cyanidation reaction. This study explored the effect of lead on the gold dissolution kinetics using cyclic voltammetry (CV) experiments. It was illustrated that the gold leaching kinetics in the cyanide solution enhanced with the addition of lead salt in the low overpotential region (–0.35 V vs. Ag/AgCl). The similar behavior was observed in the presence of ore containing 0.25% galena. In contrast, the gold oxidation kinetics retarded at –0.35 V (vs. Ag/AgCl) in the presence of silicate and lead-bearing mineral under certain conditions. Likewise, the lead addition was not functional for the high sulfur ore. This was attributed to the oxidation of the sulfides to the elemental sulfur, which subsequently formed a passivating layer on the gold surface. The results were evidently affirmed by the electrochemical tests and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis.
KeywordsGold Cyanidation Lead XPS Electrochemistry
The authors would like to thank MITACS (Ref. IT07117) and Air Liquide for the financial support of this study.
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