Recycling lead to recover refractory precious metals

Jose R Parga Torres, Jesus L Valenzuela, F.K. Ojebuoboh , Guillermo Gonzalez-Muzquiz

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Lead recycling has many benefits. For example, it provides an alternative to virgin lead, thereby avoiding the environmental impacts of primary lead smelting. In addition, as with other secondary metal operations, it consumes less energy at a lower cost than primary production. An emerging process has been evaluated in which these attributes are leveraged to process refractory precious metals ores. Direct cyanidation of refractory gold and silver ore yields poor gold and silver recoveries. In fact, some ores are simply not amenable to direct cyanidation. The process described in this paper consists of smelting lead-bearing material together with argentopyrite concentrate that contains precious metals. Sodium carbonate is used as a fluxing agent and scrap iron is used as a reductant. The reaction product is molten lead bullion enriched with the precious metals. Smelting recoveries of both silver and gold can be as high as 98%.
Translated title of the contributionReciclaje de plomo para recuperar metales preciosos refractarios: J. R. Parga, G. G. Muzquiz, J. L. Valenzuela & F. K. Ojebuoboh
Original languageEnglish
Article number53
Pages (from-to)19-21
Number of pages3
Issue number53
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2001

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