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Modeling the equilibrium loading of gold onto activated carbon from complex cyanide solutions

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2010, Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 190-195

Dai, X.; Breuer, P.L.; Jeffrey, M.I.


Gold cyanide equilibrium adsorption isotherms in the loading range typical of operating carbon-in-pulp/carbon-in-leach plants have been established and the effect of various cations and the presence of copper cyanide species quantified. It was found that the equilibrium loading of gold was enhanced by the presence of sodium or calcium, with calcium having an order of magnitude stronger effect. The presence of copper has an adverse effect on the equilibrium loading of gold. A unified model was developed to predict the effect of sodium and calcium concentrations in solution and the competitive carbon adsorption of copper on the equilibrium loading of gold on carbon. A satisfactory agreement between the measured gold equilibrium loadings and the model results was obtained over a wide range of solution conditions.