Kinetic Study on the Removal of Iron from Gold Mine Tailings by Citric Acid

T. Mashifana, N. Mavimbela, N. Sithole

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Gold mining generates large volumes of tailings, with consequent disposal and environmental problems. Iron tends to react with sulphur to form pyrite and pyrrhotite which then react with rain water forming acid rain. The study focuses on the removal of iron (Fe) from Gold Mine tailings; Fe was leached using citric acid as a leaching reagent. Three parameters which have an effect on the removal of Fe from the gold mine tailings, namely; temperature (25 °C and 50 °C), reagent concentration (0.25 M, 0.5 M, 0.75 M and 1 M) and solid loading ratio (20 %, 30 % and 40 %) were investigated. It was found that the recovery of Fe from gold mine tailings increased with increasing temperature and reagent concentration, but decreased with increasing solid loading ratio. The optimum conditions for the recovery of Fe from gold mine tailings was found to be at a temperature of 50 °C, reagent concentration of 1 M and solid loading of 20 %. Three linear kinetic models were investigated and Prout-Tompkins kinetic model was the best fit yielding linear graphs with the highest R2 values.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012025
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2018
Event2017 5th International Conference on Environment Pollution and Prevention, ICEPP 2017 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 14 Dec 201716 Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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