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ArticleName Improvement of methods for recovery of precious metals and diamonds from minerals
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2015.09.05
ArticleAuthor Dementiev V. E., Voiloshnikov G. I., Kononko R. V.

Author 1:
Name & Surname: Dementiev V. E.
Company: Irgiredmet JSC (Irkutsk, Russia)
Work Position: General Director
Scientific Degree: Candidate of Engineering Sciences

Author 2:
Name & Surname: Voiloshnikov G. I.
Company: Irgiredmet JSC (Irkutsk, Russia)
Work Position: Deputy General Director, Professor
Scientific Degree: Doctor of Engineering Sciences

Author 3:
Name & Surname: Kononko R. V.
Company: Irgiredmet JSC (Irkutsk, Russia)
Work Position: Head of laboratory
Scientific Degree: Candidate of Engineering Sciences


At the present time, the world gold production increasingly uses various technologies allowing high economic performance of mineral processing, which is of exceptional importance under conditions of drop in price of noble metals. This article generalizes the experience gained by the Irgiredmet Research Institute in the technology improvement and equipment engineering for gold, silver and diamonds recovery from minerals. For extraction of fine diamonds, spiral separators are designed and introduced at processing plants of ALROSA company. The X-ray radiometric separation equipment is engineered to collect gold and diamonds from low-grade natural raw materials and mining waste. The combination “plant–heap” technology of heap leaching is developed and introduced in Pioner gold mine in the Amur Region. Efficient modes of processing of gold-bearing solutions after underground leaching are elaborated. The Institute has extensive experience of treatment of rebellious ores and concentrates. The research has demonstrated satisfactory feasibility of gold recovery using bacterial leaching, autoclave oxidation, oxidizing roasting, oxidated cake solutions without cyanide, etc. Gold recovery is considerably enhanced in hydrometallurgy. Revenue-producing treatment of rebellious sulfide ores containing sorptive carbon is promised by a new gravitation–flotation technology with extensive cyanidation of concentrates: it enables gold recovery from ore with gold content under 1.5 g/t. Irgiredmet’s developments in the field of sorption technology for gold and silver extraction by anion exchange resins and activated carbon, including operations of sorption, desorption, electrowinning of metals, reactivation of sorbents, as well the related equipment designed for implementation of the technologies have found successful industrial application in Russia. The Institute pays much attention to the instrumentation of gold recovery processes. It is possible to carry out hydrometallurgical processing of gravity concentrates in small cyanidation plants based on impulse-generating cone reactors designed by the Institute and possessing a number of benefits as against foreign analogs. The developments include sorption equipment to extract metals from solutions and slurries, autoclave plants to desorb gold from saturated activated coal, electrolytic baths for gold and silver deposition from acid thiocarbamide and alkaline-cyanide solutions, heat-treatment furnaces for gold-bearing product melting. First in the world practice, Irgiredmet has trialed and used pulse columns in the circuit of sorption leaching of gold by resin-in-pulp technology. In the area of gravity concentration, new concentrating machines (centrifugal-bubble concentrators, centrifugal-jigging machines, etc.) are engineered and undergo commercial testing. Approaches to gravity concentration of low-grade sulfide ores are developed and implemented using both conventional and new equipment, with intense cyanidation of concentrates without flotation.

keywords Irgiredmet Institute, scientific research, pilot tests, equipment, technologies, recovery, gold, diamonds

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