Enrichment of Gold in Antimony Matte by Direct Smelting of Refractory Gold Concentrate
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Conventional cyanidation technology achieves low gold recovery when used to process refractory gold concentrate. Based on the geochemical characteristics of gold deposit mineralization, a new method is proposed herein for gold enrichment in antimony matte by smelting of refractory gold concentrate. The effects of the FeO/SiO2 and CaO/SiO2 ratios, smelting temperature, and smelting time on the gold recovery were investigated in detail. The optimum conditions were determined to be FeO/SiO2 ratio of 1.2, CaO/SiO2 ratio of 0.4, smelting temperature of 1200°C, and smelting time of 45 min. The gold content in antimony matte and smelting slag was 96.68 and 1.13 g/t, respectively. The gold, antimony, and arsenic recovery was 97.72%, 26.89%, and 6.56%, respectively, with most of the antimony and arsenic volatilized into dust. Mineral liberation analyzer results showed that the antimony matte mainly consisted of FeS and FeO, with three phases, viz. FeAs, SbAs, and AuSb, embedded between them, indicating that gold was easily enriched with antimony and arsenic during smelting of refractory gold concentrate.
The authors acknowledge support from the Young Scientists Fund of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51404296) and the Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 2016M602427).
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