Direct Cupric Chloride Leaching of Gold from Refractory Sulfide Ore: Process Simulation and Life Cycle Assessment

Marja Rinne, Heini Elomaa, Sipi Seisko, Mari Lundstrom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

A simulation-based life cycle assessment was conducted to compare the impacts of different cyanide-free chloride processing routes for refractory ores to determine whether one-stage leaching of gold from the ores could be advantageous over chloride leaching after conventional pressure oxidation from an environmental perspective. It was shown that both leaching conditions and the refractoriness of the ore strongly affect the environmental impacts of the process. The global warming potential in the direct leaching route was determined to vary between 7.7–17.0 t CO2-eq for 1 kg gold/Au. Prerequisites for the sustainable application of the direct leaching process are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalMineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review
Early online date13 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • environmental impacts
  • halide leaching
  • non-cyanide lixiviants
  • process development
  • Sustainability

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