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An investigation into hydrochloric acid leaching of low grade gold-bearing material and oxidized cobalt-copper ores

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. A.F. Mulaba-Bafubiandi en_US
dc.contributor.author Apua, Momboyo Clotilde
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-07T07:15:43Z
dc.date.available 2012-06-07T07:15:43Z
dc.date.issued 2012-06-07
dc.date.submitted 2011-03-16
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5008
dc.description M.Tech. en_US
dc.description.abstract The efficiency of hydrochloric acid leaching of gold from low grade gold-bearing material has been investigated in the presence of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) to produce in situ chlorine gas which is an oxidizing agent able to oxidize gold metal to gold soluble forms: Au+ and Au3+. The effect of concentrations of HCl, NaOCl, and mixtures HCl + NaOCl was sought. An investigation on chlorine species was conducted to predict their stability areas. The reactions involved and their mechanisms were established. Prior to leaching, the feed was subjected to fire assay, Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analyses, to quantify the various elements, and to find out the chemical composition and the different mineralogical phases which are present. The main minerals found in the feed were: quartz, pyrite, muscovite-2M1, (M); and clinochlore. The grade was found to be 0.62 g/t. It was found from the hydrochloric acid leaching process that most of metals constituents (iron and potassium) of the feed were leached and consumed all the hydrochloric acid. Therefore, leaching of gold from low grade gold-bearing materials in aqueous chlorine solution is not an effective process for now. Hydrochloric acid leaching of cobalt and copper from four oxidized cobalt-bearing ores was studied in the presence of FeCl2 to produce in situ Fe2+ that is a reducing agent able to reduce Co3+ to Co2+ which is the soluble form of cobalt. The effects of the concentrations of HCl, FeCl2, mixture HCl + FeCl2, leaching time, particle size, and the dissolution kinetics were investigated. Prior to leaching the feeds were characterized with XRD, XRF, FTIR, AAS, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and gravimetric analysis. Cobalt contents were found to be between 2.59% and 39.76% in the four ores namely, high Cu ore, high Co ore, low Co ore, and high Co ore with mica. Effect of FeCl2 concentrations in HCl solutions involving 35.06 g; 70.13 g; and 105.18 g corresponding to 0.25 M; 0.5 M; and 0.75 M respectively, were studied and the reactions mechanism established. It was found that an increase in FeCl2 concentration increases the Co dissolution due to the reduction of Co3+ into Co2+ which is soluble. High Co extractions of 99%, 99%, 99%, and 95% were obtained when mixtures 1 M HCl + 105.18 g FeCl2 were used as lixiviants for high Cu ore, high Co ore, low Co ore, and high cobalt ore with mica, respectively. Copper recoveries of 88%, 77%, 75%, and 86% were obtained for high Cu ore, high Co ore, low Co ore, and high Co ore with mica, respectively. The increase in FeCl2 concentration did not have any important effect on the Cu extraction. Mechanisms of involved reactions were established. The order of cobalt leaching reaction was found to be 2 with respect to cobalt concentration. Optimum leaching conditions were found to be: leaching time: 30 minutes, reagent concentrations: mixture 1 M HCl + 105.18 g FeCl2, S/L ratio = 1:20, stirring speed avoiding the vortex, room temperature, pH values from 2.28 to 0.03, and ORP values from 0.402 to 0.322 V. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Leaching en_US
dc.subject Hydrochloric acid en_US
dc.subject Reduction (Chemistry) en_US
dc.title An investigation into hydrochloric acid leaching of low grade gold-bearing material and oxidized cobalt-copper ores en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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