Research article
Issue: № 11 (113), 2021


Научная статья

Истомина Е.Е.1, *, Хаташкеев А.В.2, Куранов М.Н.3

1 ORCID: 0000-0002-1243-4434;

2 ORCID: 0000-0003-0304-6162;

3 ORCID: 0000-0003-4910-6239;

1, 3 Иркутский государственный университет, Иркутск, Россия;

2 ОАО «Иргиредмет», Иркутск, Россия

* Корреспондирующий автор (gamlet421[at]


В статье рассмотрены технологии переработки золотосодержащих концентратов в золотоизвлекательной фабрике месторождения Высочайший Бодайбинского района Иркутской области.

Проведено исследование минеральных проб золотосодержащих концентратов. Рассмотрены рекомендации для повышения эффективности извлечения золота из золотосодержащих концентратов в золотоизвлектательной фабрике на месторождении «Высочайший» Иркутской области.

Ключевые слова: золотоизвлекательная фабрика (ЗИФ), концентрат, золотосодержащая руда, золотые головки, промпродукт, концентрат Труд-3.


Research article

Istomina Е.Е.1, *, Shataschkeev А.V.2, Kuranov M.N.3

1 ORCID: 0000-0002-1243-4434;

2 ORCID: 0000-0003-0304-6162;

3 ORCID: 0000-0003-4910-6239;

1, 3 Irkutsk state University, Irkutsk, Russia;

2 JFC Irgiredmet, Irkutsk, Russia

* Corresponding author (gamlet421[at]


The article deals with the processing technology of gold-containing concentrates in the gold extraction plant of the Vysochaishy deposit in the Bodaibo district of the Irkutsk region. The research of mineral samples of gold-containing concentrates was carried out. Recommendations for improving the efficiency of extraction of gold from the gold-containing concentrates at the gold-processing plant at the deposit «Vysochaishy» in the Irkutsk region are reviewed.

Keywords: gold concentration plant (GCP), concentrate, gold-bearing ore, gold heads, middlings, Trud-3 concentrate.


In the process of processing primary gold-bearing ores at GRF, a number of stages take place:

  1. Cathodic and cementation sediments; products of gravitational concentration of gold-bearing ores.
  2. Gold headstones;
  3. Such gold concentrates and middling products of concentrates finishing; products of beneficiation processing of silver and complex silver-bearing ores - gravity and flotation concentrates.

These products are characterized by a variety of material composition, content of precious metals and production volumes. Concentrate production is often seasonal. All this determines the difference in the technological schemes for processing concentrates, the equipment used, and the capacity of the smelting plants.

  1. Melting of cathode and carburizing sediments

The standard and most common technological scheme for the processing of cathode and carburizing sediments obtained at gold recovery factory (GRF), heap leaching units (HL), includes two main operations: calcination at t = 400 ÷ 700 °C; subsequent melting for ligature gold.

In the process of roasting concentrates, complete dehydration of the material, oxidation of base metals, decomposition of sulfides and carbon burnout occur.

In cases where the initial carburizing sediments are characterized by a very high content of non-ferrous metals, an additional acid leaching operation is introduced. The initial precipitates are leached in a solution of acid, mainly sulfuric, with the transfer of the main fraction of copper, zinc and other base metals into the solution. The filtered and washed precipitates are then fired and melted.

  1. Recycling gold headstones

The gold headstones (GH) are characterized by the most complex and variable chemical composition. Gold heads contain: sulfides (pyrite, arsenopyrite, galena, sphalerite), technogenic scrap (metallic iron, lead, copper) and oxides of iron, silicon, aluminum - up to 50%. Mass fraction of gold in GH is from 1 to 10%.

The most widespread in industrial practice is the technological scheme «oxidative roasting - cinder smelting». This technology is used to process GH, the sulfide components of which are mainly represented by sulfides and sulfoarsenides of iron, mainly pyrite (FeS2) and arsenopyrite (FeAsS). During oxidative roasting of concentrates, sulfur and arsenic pass into the gas phase in the form of volatile oxides SO2, As2O3, which are captured in the dust and gas cleaning system. Cinders of gold heads with a high content of iron oxide (Fe2O3) are melted to obtain ligature gold and slag.

The gold headstones with a high content of lead sulphides, mainly galena (PbS), are processed according to a similar scheme, but the ligature gold obtained by smelting the cinders is subjected to cupelling. The product of the technology is high-grade ligature gold. Black lead is obtained by additional remelting of drops with a reducing agent.

For GH with a high content of antimony sulfide - antimonite (Sb2S3), a complex processing technology has been developed to obtain commercial metallic antimony. The technology includes leaching of the concentrate with a sulfide-alkaline solution, followed by the separation of antimony from the solution by the electrolytic method. As a leaching concentrate, it is dried and melted with fluxes into master alloy gold.

The concentrate is very refractory to cyanidation, since the gold is relatively coarse and in close association with sulfides and quartz. In order to reduce losses in the process of extraction products with coarse and refractory gold begin to be separated at the grinding stage and at the first stage of gravity concentration of gold-bearing ore, and after the gravity refinement they are processed in a separate technological cycle.

At the Institute «Irgiredmet» and directly at the gold mining plants, research and testing were carried out to develop and industrialize the best options for processing technology for these products.

Industrial practice has shown that significant disadvantages of the roasting technology for processing sulphide-arsenic concentrates are the relatively high debt of gold with arsenous dust and sublimates (up to 0.1 ÷ 0.3%) and significant costs for the disposal of calcium and iron arsenates. In order to overcome these shortcomings, Irgiredmet has developed and tested a new non-fired technology for processing sulfide-arsenic gold and silver-containing concentrates. In comparison with the traditional scheme, it has a number of significant advantages. In particular, the working conditions of personnel are improved, since in the process of heat treatment of the mixture of the GH with reagents, no mixing of the charge is required, the costs of creating a dust and gas cleaning system for the smelting process are reduced due to a radical reduction in the release of sulfur dioxide, arsenic trioxide and dust into the gas phase; the debt of gold and silver in the dust is reduced, the costs of burying arsenic waste are significantly reduced, while the arsenic trisulfide sludge can be a liquid product.

  1. Smelting gold concentrates

The need to master the technology for smelting gold concentrates is due to the needs of small and medium-sized gold mining plants in bringing the technological scheme to its logical conclusion - to obtain compact ligature gold as a commercial product. Testing of ligature gold in ingots allows for accurate determination of the content and accounting of precious metals and minimizes the tangible negative refining difference in the final settlements between refineries and suppliers.

As a rule, smelting of standard finished gold with fluxes in neutral mode does not pose any particular difficulties. The resulting slags are crushed and sent to the scheme for finishing concentrates.

Sulphides of iron and non-ferrous metals, sometimes present in the original product, have a negative effect on the results of smelting placer gold. The matte phase formed during smelting covers the upper plane of the ligature gold ingot with a dense layer, which complicates the sampling and analysis of the alloy as a whole. Removing the matte from the ingot mechanically is very laborious and involves the loss of precious metals. For smelting gold concetrates with sulphide impurities, a variant of the technology has been developed, in which sodium sulphate and a carbonaceous reductant are added to the charge. The matte formed in this case is easily removed from the ingot by wetting it in water. The ligature gold bars are clean, without impurities. The matte in powder form is collected and processed by known methods.

The presence of osmiride, a natural alloy of osmium with iridium, greatly interferes with the smelting of placer gold. The mass fraction of osmium in it averages 20 ÷ 40%, the rest is iridium. A characteristic feature of this mineral is a high melting temperature - 2700 ÷ 2800 °С and limited solubility in gold at a temperature of 1100 ÷ 1200 °С. traditional technology.

According to the results of assay and mineralogical studies of gold head concentrates (Table 1), the average content of gold in magnetic and non-magnetic was on average 0.27% and 33.7% at the concentrate yield, respectively.


Table 1 – Results of assay and mineralogical studies of gold headstones of GRF Vysochaishy deposit

Date MFr ZG, % NMFr ZG, %
№lab. Sample number Au №lab. Sample number Au
01.01.2017 5504 32 0,08 5505 32 22,42
01.03.2017 5512 82 0,06 5513 82 44,08
01.04.2017 5518 143 0,17 5519 143 30,37
01.06.2017 5524 158 0,06 5526 158 22,89
01.08.2017 5528 207 0,71 5529 207 42,32
01.10.2017 5535 265 0,39 5536 265 35,22
01.12.2017 5539 320 0,43 5541 320 38,32
Average value 0.27 33,66
Note: MFr ZG - Magnetic fraction of the gold head; NMFr ZG - Non-magnetic fraction of the gold head  

The average content of free and bound gold in concentrates, according to the results of assay and mineralogical analyses, was up to 22% (Table 2).


Table 2 – Results of assay and mineralogical studies of concentrates of the Vysochaishy deposit

Date Concentrate Trud-3, g/t Promproduct gold, g/t
№lab. Sample number Au №lab. Sample number Au
01.01.2017 160 73 3,21 162 73 15,48
01.03.2017 213 116 3,96 215 116 20,70
01.04.2017 270 171 6,01 258 126 30,70
01.06.2017 297 200 4,8 299 200 18,62
01.08.2017 331 245 3,45 333 245 22,06
01.10.2017 383 304 2,37 385 304 22,82
01.12.2017 437 359 5,34 439 359 24,28
Average value 4,16 22,09
Note: Сoncentrate Trud-3 - extracted gold using the sump technology using the Trud-3 beneficiation complex; Promproduct gold - industrial gold product  

The average content of bound gold in Trud-3 concentrate was 4.16 g/t, and in industrial products - 22.09 g/t.

Prospects for improving the efficiency of alluvial gold mining at the Vysochaishy deposit, related to further improvement of enrichment methods, extraction and reduction of gold losses in general.

Recommendations for improving the efficiency of gold extraction from concentrates from the GRF at the Vysochaishy deposit:

  1. For smelting, a universal charge is mainly used, developed at the Institute «Irgiredmet», which ensures the production of rich ligature gold and the formation of a neutral low-melting slag with a high solubility for iron and non-ferrous metal oxides, and which makes it possible to abandon their preliminary acid leaching when melting carburizing Zn sediments.
  2. As a result of the studies conducted for the Vysochaishy deposit, it was proposed to test and implement the technology of gold head processing by nitric acid leaching. The implementation of this technology will make it possible to eliminate labor-intensive roasting and smelting operations with lead, release toxic gases, and reduce losses of noble metals (by 2-3%) and lower processing costs.
  3. In Institute «Irgiredmet» has developed and tested on a semi-industrial scale a technology for smelting gold concentrates containing osmiride, which makes it possible to obtain a ligature gold ingot of a uniform composition, containing less than 0.05% of osmium and iridium in total. Tests have shown that the developed technology allows, with a high degree of selection, to separate gold from osmium and iridium, which are extracted into a liquid product.
Конфликт интересов Не указан. Conflict of Interest None declared.

Список литературы / References

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Список литературы на английском языке / References in English

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