Gold Selective Ion Exchange Resins advantages:
1. Improved gold recoveries from preg-robbing ores;
2. Better selectivity for gold over base metals, including copper;
3. Simple and energy-efficient elution/regeneration.
Strong base anion exchange resins are more commonly used for gold extraction. These resins generally contain quaternary ammonium functional groups with fixed positive charges. The gold loading efficiency of these resins is not pH sensitive and they operate effectively across the entire pH range. The loading of gold-cyanide onto the resin is depicted in Reaction 1
Where P represents the polymer matrix and R an alkyl chain
Due to the strong affinity of these resins for gold-cyanide anions, elution of the loaded precious metals is difficult and a sulphuric acid/thiourea mixture is most commonly used. During elution, the negatively charged gold-cyanide complex is broken and a positively charged gold-thiourea complex is formed, as shown in Reaction 2. The resin has no affinity for the positively charged gold-thiourea complex and the gold reports to the eluate stream.
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