Mechanism and kinetics of gold leaching by cupric chloride

Matti Lampinen*, Sipi Seisko, Otto Forsström, Arto Laari, Jari Aromaa, Mari Lundström, Tuomas Koiranen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


A non-cyanide lixiviant for gold dissolution, cupric chloride, was studied. The work used a rotating disk electrode technique to investigate the dissolution reaction mechanism and kinetics of gold dissolution in concentrated chloride (3 M) solution with cupric ion concentration in the range 0.02–1.0 M and temperature 65–95 °C. A reaction mechanism including a disproportionation step of Au(I) is proposed. Increase in the gold dissolution rate was found to be proportional to temperature and cupric ion concentration up to 0.5 M. The dissolution rate was observed to decrease with cupric ion concentration of 1.0 M. A mechanistic kinetic model was developed to study the rate-controlling steps in the dissolution process. Uncertainties in the model parameters of the mechanistic kinetic model were studied with Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. The modeling results showed that the gold dissolution is mainly under mixed control, where both the intrinsic surface reaction and mass transfer have an effect on the overall dissolution rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cupric chloride
  • Kinetics
  • Leaching of gold
  • Mechanistic modeling
  • Reaction mechanism

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