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HYDROGEN CYANIDE GAS VOLATILIZATION STUDY IN A GOLD LEACHING PLANT

Por: Ing. Jesús Hildebrandt Londoña Soria, jefe de Turno, Minera Poderosa.

Introduction 

In South Africa, an HCN gas volatilization model was developed and needs to be validated in locations with different surface areas and concentrations of free cyanide (Nadia Lotter 2005).

Currently, mining companies do not have reliable data on how much hydrogen cyanide gas is emitted into the environment, nor is there a figure on how much should be released daily, and very little research has been done on this, which is the reason for this study.

Studies have been conducted in other countries on the volatilization of hydrogen cyanide gas at the laboratory level. This study is conducted in a gold processing plant with the reagent sodium cyanide and quantifies in which part of the plant the greatest volatilization of hydrogen cyanide gas occurs and how it affects the environment.

Subsequently, tests are carried out in the metallurgical laboratory to lower these HCN gas volatilization values, then by applying the results in the processing plant and reducing these volatilization values, the consumption of sodium cyanide is indirectly reduced.

This is because the solution is recirculated and the consumption of cyanide known as zero discharge to the environment (RJ No. 224-2013-ANA) is maximized, in which the consumption of water, lime and cyanide is taken advantage of.

As a contribution to science, innovation and technology, this work is developed with a HCN gas meter, calculating the error by this method and comparing it with the traditional methodology of chemical analysis, all this is demonstrated in the most controlled area of the plant, whose equipment is electronically verified to see how efficient this method is.

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