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A voltammetric investigation of the oxidation of pyrite in nitric acid solutions: relation to treatment of refractory gold ores

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The anodic oxidation of pyrite on potential scans has been investigated in 0.22 mol dm−3 nitric acid over the temperature range 26 to 80'C. The relative formation of sulphur and sulphate was determined from the anodic and cathodic charges associated with different regions of the voltammogram. It was found that the percentage of pyrite oxidizing to sulphur decreased with increase in potential to reach a negligible value at ∼1.5V vs SHE. No discernible change was observed in the potential dependence of the relative formation of sulphur and sulphate when the reaction temperature was varied. The significance of these results on the nitric acid treatment of refractory (sulphidic) gold ores is discussed.

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Flatt, J.R., Woods, R. A voltammetric investigation of the oxidation of pyrite in nitric acid solutions: relation to treatment of refractory gold ores. J Appl Electrochem 25, 852–856 (1995).

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  • Oxidation
  • Sulphur
  • Gold
  • Nitric Acid
  • Acid Solution