Gold cyanidation

Technique for extracting gold from low-grade ore / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Gold cyanidation (also known as the cyanide process or the MacArthur–Forrest process) is a hydrometallurgical technique for extracting gold from low-grade ore by converting the gold to a water-soluble coordination complex. It is the most commonly used leaching process for gold extraction.[1] Cyanidation is also widely used in the extraction of silver, usually after froth flotation.[2]

Production of reagents for mineral processing to recover gold represents more than 70% of cyanide consumption globally. Other metals are recovered from the process include copper, zinc, and silver, but gold is the main driver of this technology.[1] Due to the highly poisonous nature of cyanide, the process is controversial and its use is even banned in some parts of the world. Cyanide can be safely used in the gold mining industry.[3] A key feature for safe use of cyanide is to ensure adequate pH control at an alkaline pH level above 10.5. At industrial scale, pH control is mainly achieved using lime, as an important enabling reagent in gold processing.[4]

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