Hydrometallurgical extraction of gold and other valuable metals

Project Leader: John Provis
Staff: Jannie van Deventer, Dingwu Feng
Student: Sima Mohammadnejad
Sponsors: Australian Research Council
Primary Contact: John Provis (jprovis@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: mineral processing
Disciplines: Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Domains: Convergence of engineering and IT with the life sciences
Research Centre: Particulate Fluids Processing Centre (PFPC)

Hydrometallurgical methods for the extraction of gold from its ores are commonly based on the use of cyanide as a leaching agent. However, the toxicity of cyanide compounds has led to the search for alternative processes, the most promising of which appears to be based on the use of ammoniacal thiosulphate leach liquors. Characterisation of the mineralogical, solution and surface chemistry of this system is currently being undertaken. We are also working to understand interactions involving silica in hydrometallurgical gold extraction, from both engineering and fundamental chemistry viewpoints. We also have expertise and interest in the hydrometallurgical extraction of platinum-group metals, rare earths and base metals, and conduct both pure research and industry consulting projects in these areas.

Further information: http://www.chemeng.unimelb.edu.au/geopolymer/