The Speciation of Gold in Mine Wastes and Natural Waters

Author: Christine Ta

Ta, Christine, 2013 The Speciation of Gold in Mine Wastes and Natural Waters, Flinders University, School of Chemical and Physical Sciences

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Abstract

The geomicrobiological cycle of gold has been widely studied in an effort to improve gold exploration techniques and gold recovery in mining processes. But these studies and the basic understanding of how aqueous gold behaves are largely based on chemical speciation modelling (indirect speciation), as current direct speciation techniques are limited by their poor sensitivity and interferences from real matrices. This study describes the development of a HPLC-ICP-MS method for the determination of Au(I)-cyanide, Au(I)-thiosulfate, Au(III)-chloro-hydroxyl and Au(III)-bromo-hydroxyl complexes in mine waters and groundwaters. The developed method was applied to sixty two water samples (including mine waters, groundwaters and environmental monitoring bores). Chemical analysis of saline groundwater samples revealed an apparent correlation between manganese and Au(III) and led to an investigation into the effect of manganese on the speciation of gold.

Keywords: HPLC,ICP-MS,gold,speciation,water
Subject: Chemistry thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2013
School: School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Supervisor: Claire Lenehan