Extraction of zinc from smithsonite by ammonia leaching

Altun, Naci Emre
– In this study, an ore taken from Kayseri region of Turkey was used. Characterization studies showed that the run-of mine ore is rich in oxide minerals, cerussite (PbCO3) and smithsonite (ZnCO3). The aim of the study was extraction of zinc from smithsonite by ammonia leaching on cerussite flotation tailings. Initial lead and zinc grades of the ore were 13.31% and 27.86%, respectively. As a result of a series of cerussite flotation tests, a lead concentrate containing 63.25% Pb was produced with 82.76% recovery. After that, tailing of flotation was treated with ammonia (NH3) to extract zinc. For that purpose, 5M and 7M of NH3 solutions were used for 30 minutes, 1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours and 12 hours. In consequence of the leaching experiments, the highest extraction rate was obtained as 76.66% using 7M NH3 solution with 12 hours of treatment.