Microwave pretreatment for thiourea leaching for gold concentrate

Nag Choul Choi, Bong Ju Kim, Kanghee Cho, Soonjae Lee, Cheon Young Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


In this research, we studied the use of microwave pretreatment to enhance the efficiency of Au leaching from gold concentrate. The gold concentrate was pretreated using microwaves with different irradiation time. The sample temperature was increased up to 950 °C by the microwave irradiation. A scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive spectrometer showed the evolution of microcracks and the reduction of sulfur on the mineral surface. X-ray diffraction data also showed the mineral phase shift from pyrite to hematite or pyrrhotite. A leaching test was conducted for the microwave-treated and untreated gold concentrates using thiourea. Although the thiourea leaching recovered 80% of Au from the untreated concentrate, from the treated concentration, the Au could be recovered completely. Au leaching efficiency increased as the microwave irradiation time increased, as well as with a higher composition of thiourea.

Original languageEnglish
Article number404
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: This subject is supported by Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) as “Advanced Technology Program for Environmental Industry” (Technologies for the Risk Assessment and Management 2016000140010).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the authors.


  • Gold
  • Microwave
  • Pyrite
  • Thiourea leaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Metals and Alloys


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