Recovery of Precious Metals (Au, Ag, Pt, and Pd) from Urban Mining Through Copper Smelting

Min Chen, Katri Avarmaa, Lassi Klemettinen, Hugh O’Brien, Dmitry Sukhomlinov, Junjie Shi, Pekka Taskinen*, Ari Jokilaakso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


With the aim of investigating deportments of precious metals in pyrometallurgical processing of waste electrical and electronic equipment, the distributions of selected precious metals (gold, silver, platinum, and palladium) between copper matte and three different silica-saturated slags (pure FeOx-SiO2, FeOx-SiO2-Al2O3, and FeOx-SiO2-Al2O3-CaO slag) were investigated at 1300 °C in controlled flowing CO-CO2-SO2-Ar gas atmosphere by a high-temperature isothermal equilibration technique. The phase compositions were analyzed by Electron Probe X-ray Microanalysis and Laser Ablation-High Resolution Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry. It was shown that the distribution coefficients of gold, platinum, and palladium between matte and slag (Lm/s(Me) = [Me]in matte/(Me)in slag) were very high and increased with increasing matte grade. The distributions to the matte phase were increased by adding basic oxides alumina and lime into the acidic silicate slags. The experimentally measured distribution coefficients Lm/s(Me) followed the order of platinum > palladium > gold > silver. The present experimental results can be used for upgrading thermodynamic databases for the complex recycling processes through nonferrous smelting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1495-1508
Number of pages14
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science
Issue number4
Early online date19 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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