Gold recovery from tailings is the process of extracting gold from leftover materials, such as crushed rock, sand, and gravel, from a previous mining operation. Tailings are the byproducts of mining activities, consisting of fine-grained materials that are often rich in minerals and metals, including gold. In many cases, these tailings are still valuable and can be processed to recover the remaining gold.
The gold recovery process from tailings typically involves the following steps:
Grinding and crushing: The tailings are crushed and ground to a fine powder to release the gold particles.
Gravity separation: Gold is separated from the crushed rock using gravity-based methods, such as shaking tables, spirals, or sluice boxes. These methods rely on the differences in density between gold and the other minerals in the tailings.
Cyanide leaching: In some cases, the gold may be too fine to be recovered using gravity methods alone. In these situations, the tailings are treated with a dilute cyanide solution, which dissolves the gold into a solution.
Carbon adsorption: The gold-cyanide solution is then passed through activated carbon, which adsorbs the gold from the solution.
Electrowinning: The gold is then stripped from the activated carbon using an electrical current and deposited onto electrodes.
Smelting: The gold is melted down and cast into bars or other forms for further processing or sale.
Overall, the process of gold recovery from tailings can be complex and may require a combination of different techniques, depending on the characteristics of the tailings and the desired final product. However, with the right equipment and expertise, it is possible to recover significant amounts of gold from tailings that would otherwise go to waste.
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