The aim of this study is to compare amino acids and organic acids in the extraction of gold from silicate ore. Amino acids were found to have higher efficiency of gold extraction than organic acids at the same acid concentration, which is likely due to amino acids having both carboxylic and amine groups in their structure, while organic acids only have carboxylic groups. Five amino acids (glycine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, lysine and tryptophan) and seven organic acids (citric, malic, tataric, fumaric, oxalic, succinic and ascorbic acids) were selected to investigate gold extraction efficiency. Aspartic acid was found to have greater capacity to extract gold than succinic acid. The optimal gold to aspartic acid molar ratio was 1:6, and low concentrations of aspartic acid extracted 35 to 42 percent of gold from silicate ore within 15 days. Further studies are needed to increase gold leaching and reduce incubation time. The results imply that aspartic acid can be used as an alternative reagent to traditional methods for extracting gold from ore. This method is nontoxic to humans, is environmentally friendly and can have real applications.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2021) 38:2185–2194, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-021-00460-5