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Potential Uses of Artisanal Gold Mine Tailings, with an Emphasis on the Role of Centrifugal Separation Technique

Munganyinka, JP and Habinshuti, JB and Ndayishimiye, JC and Mweene, L and Ofori-Sarpong, G and Mishra, B and Adetunji, AR and Tanvar, H (2022) Potential Uses of Artisanal Gold Mine Tailings, with an Emphasis on the Role of Centrifugal Separation Technique. In: Sustainability (Switzerland), 14 (13).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/su14138130


Few investigations have focused on the potential uses of artisanal gold (Au) mine tailings, despite the fact that artisanal gold mining activity contributes to environmental issues such as green-house gas. Mineralogical characterizations of artisanal gold mine tailings in Miyove gold mine (Baradega and Masogwe) in Rwanda were investigated for potential utilization as a source of valuable gold, using the centrifugal separation technique. Results of X-ray diffraction analysis, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma–optical emission spectroscopy, and X-ray fluorescence showed that artisanal gold mine tailings samples have significant amounts of gold to justify economical gold extraction opportunity. The gold grades in the ores and artisanal gold mine tailings were in the ranges of 37–152 and 2–7 g t−1, respectively. Quartz was a major phase, with minor impurities in two different types of gold ores and their respective tailings. The beneficiation carried out using centrifugal separation, regarded as an extension of gravity separation, showed gold grades in the range of 535–1515 g t−1 for gold ores and 36–302 g t−1 for artisanal gold mine tailings. The gold recoveries for ores and artisanal gold mine tailings were in the range of 21.8–47.3% and 46.9–63.8%, respectively. The results showed that the centrifugal separation technique was more efficient in boosting gold recovery compared to the present panning approach employed at the site, which sometimes recover as low as 10%. The results suggest that mineralogical characterization of artisanal gold mine tailings allows for the development and design of a suitable methods for improving gold ore beneficiation and artisanal gold mine tailings reprocessing.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Sustainability (Switzerland)
Publisher: MDPI
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Authors.
Keywords: artisanal and small-scale mining; artisanal gold mine tailings; centrifugal separation; gold mining; mineralogical characterization
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Materials Engineering (formerly Metallurgy)
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2022 11:36
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2022 11:36
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/75000

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