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Print version ISSN 1692-8261


ROJAS-REYES, Néstor Ricardo; ECHEVERRY-VARGAS, Luver  and  CATANO-MARTINEZ, Jesús. Characterization by QEMSCAN and FE-SEM of ore bodies gold artisanally treated with mercury in Antioquia, Colombia. Prospect. [online]. 2017, vol.15, n.2, pp.107-116. ISSN 1692-8261.

This work presents the mineralogical characterization of three ore bodies gold located in the northeast of the department of Antioquia, Colombia, which are currently benefited with mercury. Five tests were carried out on three gold deposits: determination of mineral species and analysis of false color images by QEMSCAN(r); identification and quantification of gold by FE-SEM; fire analysis and cyanidation tests. The results by QEMSCAN showed that the ore bodies are mainly composed of quartz, potassium feldspar, muscovite and pyrite. The results by FE-SEM showed that gold is mainly found as nanoscopic nodules scattered in muscovite and quartz. Another amount of gold is in the form of electrum. The fire assay showed that the amount of gold was between 1 and 34 g/t and the cyanidation tests showed that it is possible to extract the gold up to 80% only with grinding and direct cyanidation without any other treatment. These results can be the basis for a proposal with alternative metallurgical methods that allow the extraction of gold without the use of mercury.

Keywords : Mineralogical characterization; Ore bodies; Gold; Mercury; QEMSCAN; FE-SEM.

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