Reprocessing of Mining Wastes for the Recovery of Silver by Leaching in the Thiosemicarbazide – Oxygen System
Juan Hernández-ÁvilaEleazar-Rodríguez Salinas


The mining wastes generated during the last decades in the mining region of Pachuca-Real del Monte in Mexico, still contains silver values of interest. For this reason, the present work is a preliminary study of the leaching kinetics of silver contained in these residues, using as a leaching reagent the thiosemicarbazide-oxygen system, with the aim of proposing this leaching system as a less toxic alternative than cyaniding process. Previous the leaching process, representative samples were wholly characterized, finding 56 g of Ag and 0.6 g of Au per ton. For the kinetic study in the mentioned system, were evaluated the reagent concentration, temperature, partial pressure of oxygen, pH and stirring rate. According the experimental results found, it was observed that [CH5N3S] concentration showed a significant effect on the leaching rate, obtaining a reaction order of n = 0.93, in the range of 20 - 40 mol CH5N3S × m-3, getting so a silver recovery up to 76.9%. The effect of temperature gave an activation energy of Ea = 45.55 KJ mol-1, which was indicative of a chemical reaction control. Finally, partial pressure of oxygen has a notable effect on leaching rate, but pH and stirring rate have not apparent effect.

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