Gold ore column studies with a new mercury precipitant

Matthew M. Matlock, Brock S. Howerton, John D. Robertson, David A. Atwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The 1,3-benzenediamidoethanethiol ligand (BDET) completely precipitates soft heavy metals from aqueous solutions under a wide range of conditions. In the present study, the sodium salt of this ligand was applied during the cyanide leaching of ore samples collected from an active gold-mining site in South America. The ligand irreversibly binds mercury from solutions containing cyanide, similarly to those present in the gold-cyanide process (GCP). The present work tests the industrial viability of BDET in the GCP through a column leaching study on ores from South America. The average mercury concentration in the ore samples was 5.22 ppm (milligrams of Hg per kilogram of ore), leached by 19.1% after cyanide extraction. After addition of BDET to the extractant solution, leached mercury from the columns decreased to 0.001 ppm, whereas the leached gold and silver concentrations remained unaffected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5278-5282
Number of pages5
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number21
StatePublished - Oct 16 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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