Microwave-Assisted Grinding of Bolkardag (Nigde, Turkey) Gold Ore and Enhanced Cyanide Leachability

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METALLURGICAL RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY, vol.115, no.5, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 115 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1051/metal/2018039


This experimental work aims at studying the effect of particle size on the microwave pre-treatment for the grindability of Bolkardag (Nigde, Turkey) gold ore for cyanide leaching. Three different particle size batches (-8 + 4.7 mm, -4.75 + 2 mm and -2 + 1 mm) were used for microwave treatment. Each sub-samples were exposed to four different power levels of microwave energy (0.09, 0.18, 0.36 and 0.6 kW) at exposure times of 5, 10, 15 and 30 minutes and then grindability characteristic of the treated samples were investigated with Berry and Bruce comparative grindability method. It was clearly seen that increasing power level and exposure time caused a reduction in comparative Bond Work index. A maximum reduction in Bond Work index (73.54%) was achieved by 0.6 kW at 30 minutes of microwave treatment. Compared to the untreated sample's results, gold and silver extraction rates increased, using microwave-treated samples, about 7% and 9% after 77 hours cyanide leaching, respectively. Additionally, the hydrated lime added samples (after 0.6 kW at 30 minutes of microwave treatment) were used in the cyanide leaching tests to determine the possible effect. It was observed that there was no significant difference on leaching extraction rates using lime free or lime added samples. Applying microwave pre-treatment before cyanide leaching, the gold and silver extraction rates could be increased and also the cost of communition could be reduced due to easier breakage of the ore due to a significant decrease in Bond Work index.