Six major gold mine carbon leaching process flow

2023-10-26 13:22:04

Activated carbon leaching (CIL) gold extraction process is a process of adding activated carbon to the pulp and leaching and adsorbing gold at the same time. It is one of the main methods of gold beneficiation. The process is developed on the basis of the carbon pulp method (CIP), which combines the two steps of cyanidation leaching pulp and activated carbon adsorption into one, reducing the number of leaching tanks, shortening the process flow, and reducing infrastructure investment and production. Usually we use coconut shell activated carbon or coal based activated carbon as activated carbon for gold recovery.

Generally, the process of gold ore extraction by carbon leaching (CIL) mainly includes six stages: pulp removal, concentration before leaching, leaching and adsorption, desorption electrolysis, pyrometallurgy, and activated carbon regeneration.

  1. Gold ore pulp removal

Before the leaching and adsorption of cyanide pulp, it is necessary to remove impurities such as sawdust in the pulp, so as to prevent the impurities from adsorbing the gold in the pulp, preventing it from mixing into the rich carbon and blocking the pipeline and carbon screen. When necessary, the pulp should be concentrated, and a descaling agent should be added. The descaling agent can reduce the scaling on the surface of the activated carbon and on the screen.
Under normal circumstances, an impurity removal operation is set up before concentration and after grinding. Medium frequency linear vibrating screen is often used as impurity removal equipment, and the screen size is selected as small as possible on the premise of ensuring that the screen surface does not run out.

  1. Gold ore concentration before leaching

The concentration of pulp will not only affect the leaching time, but also affect the suspension state of activated carbon. Therefore, in order to make the pulp reach a suitable leaching concentration, the pulp needs to be dewatered by a thickener before leaching.
When the overflow concentration of grinding classification is 18-22%, it is not suitable for direct leaching, and the pulp must be concentrated first. At this time, it is recommended to use a high-efficiency thickener with small footprint and high concentration efficiency.

  1. Gold leaching and adsorption
    A major feature of the gold ore carbon leaching method (CIL) process is that the gold leaching and adsorption operations are carried out at the same time, and the specification and quantity of the leaching tank need to be determined according to the processing capacity of the gold ore dressing plant.

The impurity-removed and concentrated ore pulp is driven into high-efficiency leaching tanks arranged in a stepped arrangement, generally 5-12 leaching tanks are arranged in series. Cyanide is added to the first one or two leaching tanks, and activated carbon is added to the latter leaching tanks. Since sodium cyanide has just been added to the first one or two tanks, the amount of leached gold is small, so most gold ore carbon leaching plants use the first one or two leaching tanks as pre-leaching tanks, and the latter leaching tanks are leaching adsorption tanks. .
Generally, each leaching tank is equipped with a carbon screen to separate activated carbon and pulp. Activated carbon and pulp are adsorbed in countercurrent flow, fresh activated carbon is added from the last leaching and adsorption tank, and gold-loaded carbon is discharged from the first leaching and adsorption tank. Activated carbon becomes gold-loaded carbon due to the adsorption of gold in pulp. After the adsorption operation is completed, the pulp containing gold-loaded carbon is sent to the carbon extraction screen through the air lifter to separate the pulp and activated carbon. After sieving and washing, the pulp is sent to the desorption electrolysis operation. The gold grade of the pulp solution after adsorption by this method is generally 0.01-0.03g/m³.

  1. Gold ore desorption electrolysis

At present, the desorption method of gold-loaded carbon commonly used is high temperature and high pressure desorption method, that is, under the condition of high temperature and high pressure, anions that are easily adsorbed by activated carbon are added to the desorption system, and Au(CN)2- is replaced to obtain gold mud and lean carbon. , so as to achieve gold desorption.
The precious liquid obtained by desorption of gold-loaded carbon is recovered by ionization method to obtain solid gold.

  1. Pyrometallurgy of gold mines

In production practice, most gold ore carbon leaching plants use pyrometallurgy, that is, gold ingots are directly smelted from gold mud obtained through simple pickling and impurity removal operations. After fire smelting, the purity of gold ingots can reach more than 99.99%.

  1. Activated Carbon for gold recoveryregeneration

The activated carbon after adsorption and desorption needs to be regenerated to restore its adsorption performance. Usually, after desorption, activated carbon is acid washed to remove carbonate and other accumulations, and after repeated use, it needs to be thermally activated to restore the adsorption activity of activated carbon for gold recovery, and then it can be recycled again. The equipment required for activated carbon for gold recoveryregeneration operation mainly includes activated carbon pickling tank, neutralization tank, regeneration kiln, fine carbon separation screen, water quenching tank, etc.

Gold ore carbon leaching (CIL) process has strong adaptability to gold ore and is suitable for most types of gold ore. In production practice, it is recommended to do a good job of beneficiation test, and determine scientific and reasonable technological process and technical parameters according to the results of the beneficiation test, and avoid random application or simple copying.

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