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Comment Europe

Significantly reduce cyanide consumption in refractory gold-ore treatment

By Gerald Ondrey |

Traditionally, cyanide consumption with conventional bio-oxidation residues is higher than with residues produced through other oxidative technologies. The Outotec MesoTherm BIOX process, based on its proven mesophile BIOX process, offers an easy, cost-effective upgrade path that can cut cyanide consumption by as much as 50% compared to conventional bio-oxidation, says Jan van Niekerk, director, Gold Process Solutions, Metso Outotec Corp. (Espoo, Finland; www.mogroup.com). The formation of thiocyanate — a common and stable cyanide species traditionally formed as a further byproduct — is also reduced by more than 50%, he says. The MesoTherm BIOX process enhances the established mesophile BIOX process by combining mesophile bio-oxidation technology with a thermophile oxidation stage. The thermophile stage operates at a higher temperature (about 65°C) than the mesophile stage (40–42°C), thereby achieving an even more-effective overall sulfide-oxidation step, says Van Niekerk. In the complete process (flowsheet), fresh concentrate slurry — which contains gold, sulfide minerals (such as pyrite and arsenopyrite) and gangue minerals (such as silicates or dolomite) — process water and some nutrients are fed to the mesophile stage.…
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