Removal of Aqueous Lead and Copper Ions by Using Natural Hydroxyapatite Powder and Sulphide Precipitation in Cyanidation Process


Mining, ore processing, and smelting activities have contaminated soil and water resources with cyanide and heavy metals throughout the world. In-situ chemical immobilization is a remediation technology that decreases the concentrations of dissolved ions of copper cyanide and lead hydroxides by adsorption or precipitation. This study deals, with a process to recover lead hydroxides with natural hydroxyapatite powder and copper cyanide ions with sulphide precipitation from solutions of the cyanidation process. This technology is based on inducing nucleated precipitation of copper and silver in a serpentine reactor, using sodium sulfide as the precipitator, and sulfuric acid for pH control. Results show that pH value has a significant effect on copper cyanide removal efficiency, and it was determined the optimal pH range to be 2.5 - 3. At this pH value, the copper cyanide removal efficiency achieved was up to 99% with 60 percent of copper purity and the cyanide ions associated with this complex the recovery was 90%. For the elimination of lead hydroxides ions from the aqueous cyanidation process with natural hydroxiapatite powder the recovery was 99%. The abundance of cow bones, its low price and non-aggressive nature towards the environment are advantages for its utilization in point of view of wastewater cleanup and Dore with higher quality.

Share and Cite:

J. Parga, J. Valenzuela, V. Vazquez, M. Rodriguez and H. Moreno, "Removal of Aqueous Lead and Copper Ions by Using Natural Hydroxyapatite Powder and Sulphide Precipitation in Cyanidation Process," Materials Sciences and Applications, Vol. 4 No. 4, 2013, pp. 231-237. doi: 10.4236/msa.2013.44028.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] F. Habashi, “One Hundred Years of Cyanidation Historical Note,” CIM Bulletin, Vol. 30, No. 905, 1987, pp. 108-114.
[2] J. R. Parga, J. L. Valenzuela and F. Cepeda, “Pressure Cyanide Leaching for Precious Metals Recovery,” Journal of Metals, Vol. 10, 2007, pp. 43-47.
[3] J. R. Parga, H. M. Casillas, V. Vazquez and J. L. Valenzuela, “Cyanide Detoxification of Mining Wastewaters with TiO2 Nanoparticles and Its Recovery by Electrocoagulation,” Chemical Engineering and Technology, Vol. 32, No. 12, 2009, pp.1901-1908. doi:10.1002/ceat.200900177
[4] A. E. Lewis, “Review of Metal Sulphide Precipitation,” Hydrometallurgy, Vol. 104, 2010, pp. 222-234. doi:10.1016/j.hydromet.2010.06.010
[5] C. W. Lawr, “Cyanide Regeneration as Practiced by Compania Beneficiadora de Pachuca,” Technical Publication AIME, Vol. 6, No. 208, 1929, pp. 1-37.
[6] D. M. Muir, “A Review of the Selective Leaching of Gold from Oxidized Copper-Gold Ores with Ammonia-Cyanide and New Insights for Plant Control and Operation,” Minerals Engineering, Vol. 24, No. 6, 2011, pp. 576-582. doi:10.1016/j.mineng.2010.08.022
[7] M. D. Adams and R. Lawrence, “Biogenic Sulphide for Cyanide Recycle and Copper Recovery in Gold-Copper Ore Processing,” Proceedings of the Precious Metals, Brisbane, 31 August 2007, pp. 1-17.
[8] S. Woodgate and A. Dybowska, “An Evaluation of the Reactivity of Synthetic and Natural Apatites in the Presence of Aqueous Metals,” The Science of Total Environment, Vol. 407, No. 8, 2009, pp. 2953-2965.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.