Antimony has been used extensively in industry and in everyday life since the 19th century, and antimony sulfides have been known since around 4,000 B.C. Antimony’s most significant applications are as a flame retardant in the manufacture of electronics and textiles, as a catalyst for plastic fabrication, and as paint pigment and fining agent in glassware, opacifier in ceramics and an alloying element in ammunition and battery manufacturing plants. It is also used in vehicle brakes and tires. Brake pads contain stibnite (Sb), the sulfide compound of antimony. In particular, stibnite is used in automobiles as a lubricant, vibration reducer and friction stability improver. Anthropogenic activities are the primary source of antimony in the atmosphere [1,2]. Annual global consumption of antimony has increased to more than 1.4 × 105 t, and China is the most significant producer .
According to critical statistical studies, antimony is one of the rarest elements in the world, and global resources could be exhausted by 2050. Its extraction cost is increasing due to poor-quality ore, deep mining, remote locations and high energy consumption. In the present study, an alkaline leaching process was carried out on stibnite concentrate to evaluate the effect of reaction parameters on the antimony extraction rate.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2020) 37:1729–1739, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-020-00266-x