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Recovery of Silver and Mercury from Mill Tailings by Electrooxidation.

Scheiner BJ; Pool DL; Lindstrom RE
NTIS: PB 211 946 :9 pages
Extraction of silver from silver mill tailings by an electrolytic oxidation procedure was investigated by the Bureau of Mines. Various parameters affecting silver extraction, such as electrolysis time, particle size, and dissolution of the silver as the tetrachloro or cyanide complex, were studied at 30 degrees c with an electrolyte concentration of 20 weight-percent sodium chloride. Resulting silver extractions ranged from 77 to 90 percent, depending on the tailings being treated. Concomitant extraction of mercury ranged from 90 to 95 percent. Power consumption was 52 to 90 kilowatt-hours per ton for the tailings investigated. Comparative experiments using direct cyanidation resulted in the extraction of 46 to 82 percent of the silver and 20 percent of the mercury. Cyanide consumption ranged from 3.3 to 9.4 Pounds per ton of tailings, depending on the tailings being treated. Silver and mercury were recovered from leach solutions by precipitation on iron powder, followed by conventional distillation and fire refining steps.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigation;
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
RI 7660
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NTIS: PB 211 946
Page last reviewed: December 10, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division