One of the cheapest methods of extracting gold is heap leaching. However, the recovery of gold by this method is relatively low, compared with cyanidation of the crushed material, so the search for the ways to intensify leaching and increase gold recovery is an urgent task. Investigations on heap leaching of gold from the gold-bearing ore of the Sari Gunay deposit were conducted using a promising reagent sodium acetate to intensify the heap leaching process. The results of assay-gravimetric, chemical, mineralogical and granulometric analyses of oxidized ore are presented. The average gold content in the ore was 2.90 g/t. According to the electron probe analysis, gold in the ore is present in the form of fine (micron) inclusions in minerals and ore rocks. Comparative studies on heap leaching of gold from the crushed ore with a grain size of –20 + 0 mm with the addition of sodium acetate and without that were carried out. The degree of gold recovery with sodium acetate at a flow rate of 0.5 kg/t was 58.74%, that without sodium acetate was 54.69%, i.e. the addition of the reagent provides an increase in recovery of more than 4%. Leaching with the addition of the reagent also reduces sodium cyanide consumption from 0.65 to 0.59 kg/t. The research results have shown that sodium acetate can be used to intensify the process of heap leaching of gold when the ore size is –20+0 mm.
The methods of biodegradation are of special interest because they help solving environmental problems of wastes detoxification from gold-mining operations. The use of bacterial strains is a promising approach in the field of biotechnology to destruct cyanide-bearing compounds. The diversity of microbial communities both in heap in situ and in the enriched cultures was studied with molecular genetic methods. The differences in representation of bacteria, cultivated in unexploitable and operating heaps, are territory, site and heap specific. The strains of Pseudomonas sp. and Methylobacterium sp. possess the biotechnological potential and might be used in biodegradation of heap leaching wastes in extreme continental climate.
The issues of reagent leaching of metals in stacks in a historical cut are considered. It is shown that more than 1/3 of the chipped ore in size does not meet the conditions for extract-ing metals from it and requires regrinding. The features of mills are considered and the ad-vantages of grinding in a high-speed mill - disintegrator are determined. The information on innovations in the optimization of grinding equipment, which can reduce the cost of production by 10…15 %, is given.