Calcium Sulfide Precipitation of Mercury From Gold Silver Cyanide-Leach Slurries
Description:During cyanidation of mercury-bearing gold-silver ores, significant amounts of mercury are extracted. The presence of mercury decreases. gold loading and increases mercury stripping time on activated carbon, complicates fire refining of the gold cathodes, and creates a potential health hazard. Addition of calcium sulfide (CaS) to the cyanide leach slurry precipitates the solubilized mercury but also some silver. The Bureau of Mines investigated silver loss during CaS precipitation of mercury. Addition of 0.1 lb CaS per short ton ore to a mercury-bearing gold-silver ore precipitated both mercury and silver. However, if copper was added with CaS, or if the ore contained copper, much of the sil-ver loss was prevented. Addition of 235 ppm Cu with 0.1 lb/st CaS, prior to carbon-in-pulp adsorption, resulted in 89-to 97-pct, 80-to 91-pct, and O-pct adsorption of the solubilized gold, silver, and mer-cury, respectively, on the activated carbon.
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