Petrographic and Geochemical Analyses of Leach Samples From Artillery Peak, Mohave County, AZ
Description:The first step in determining whether Mn can be recovered by in situ leaching is to develop and test a selective lixiviant. Two column leach tests and one core leach test Were conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Mines on Mn oxide ore using aqueous sulfur dioxide (SO2) as the lixiviant. The column tests showed that aqueous S02 could selectively dissolve available Mn oxides from calcite-rich ore in a heap leach system. However, the core test showed that calcite gangue side reactions can have pronounced negative effects on the likelihood of successful in situ leaching of a calcite-rich ore with aqueous S02. Petrographic and geochemical analyses showed that both Mn (IV, III) oxides and calcite were dissolved. The abundance of dissolved Ca caused precipitation of gypsum. Acid consumption by calcite dissolution caused a rise in pH that caused the SO/S species to shift to S032-(sulfIte), which hindered reductive dissolution of Mn oxide. Gypsum precipitation did not affect complete leaching of the rock fragments in the column tests; however, it plugged the natural permeability in the core. Manganese recoveries were high for the column tests and low for the core test.
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