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ArticleName Autoclave processes in hydrometallurgy of platinum group metals
ArticleAuthor Lapshin D. A.

“Baikal Mining Company” LLC, Moscow, Russia:

D. A. Lapshin, Head of Technological Department, e-mail:


This article shows the main results of studies of use of autoclave processing in platinum-group metals' metallurgy. These studies were carried out in R&D department of Polar Division of “Norilsk Nickel” MMC. Two-stage autoclave leaching of copper and nickel slime in sulfuric and alkaline solutions was studied. There was made an observation, that this process allows to recover not less than 99 and 95% of nickel and iron and up to 95–97% of selenium into solution. Optimum conditions of the process are presented together with main reactions. A method of autoclave dissolution in chloride solutions was developed for transfer of platinum metals into solution. There was established that the following conditions make an influence on platinum metals dissolution degree: temperature of 160–200 oС; oxygen pressure of 1.4–0.4 MPs; chloride ion consumption; S:L ratio within the range from 1:10 to 1:2. The speed of dissolution of platinum metals and gold was established on the basis of kinetic curves. There were defined the high efficient organic reagents and optimum conditions (temperature, process duration, reagent consumption) for sedimentation of platinum-group metals from complex solutions. On the basis on kinetic curves of sedimentation and electronic spectrums of solution loss, there was suggested to use the stages in platinum metals processing. The developed method successfully passed the pilot plant tests. The tests showed that autoclave settling of platinum metals (using carbonylating reagents) is characterized by high sedimentation speed, high degree of recovery of platinum metals from various content solutions with minimal co-sedimentation of impurities, and absence of contamination by reagent decomposition products.

keywords Autoclave processes, platinum metals, carbonyl reagents, leaching, dissolution, sedimentation, copper slime, nickel slime

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