hydrogen peroxide in mining increases the oxygen availability

H2O2 as oxidizer for better chemical and waste management


Hydrogen peroxide is an important process agent for the mining industry. It is often used as an oxidant in metallurgical process steps such as ore leaching, concentrate preparation, or effluent treatment. Depending on the ore composition and the leaching conditions, utilization of H2O2 results in savings of effluent treatment, reagents and acids, simplifies management of chemicals or wastes, and improves the overall process performance.

Mines are mostly operated in remote locations where suitable ores can be found. However, we not only supply all over the world to increase product efficiency, but also strive for sustainable solutions and green mining technologies. At the same time they are chemical plants handling dangerous chemicals and have to ensure safety to the miners as well as the environment. High yields and low operating costs are required to ensure profitability. Our HYPROX® 600 high quality hydrogen peroxide (60% concentration, other concentrations available as well) from our global production network helps to reach these goals.

Gold mining

In gold production, hydrogen peroxide can serve two functions. The most common method used nowadays is the cyanidation process, which involves the leaching of gold containing ores by dilute aqueous cyanide solutions. This requires pH adjustment, mostly by lime, and oxygen for the redox reaction to occur.

Depending on the leaching conditions, overall concentration of suspended ore as well as concentration of the oxygen consumers in the ore, hydrogen peroxide can be added to increase the oxygen availability and dissolved oxygen in the system and to promote deeper leaching by direct oxidation. This is generally called Peroxide Assisted Leach (PAL) and helps to increase yield and profitability.

Uranium Mining

Similar to the PAL process in gold mining hydrogen peroxide can serve as an important process agent for many other metals. The most prominent example is uranium mining. In nature uranium occurs in the form of tetravalent or hexavalent oxide minerals (uraninite or pitchblende). Tetravalent uranium has, however, a very low solubility in both acidic or alkaline media. Thus, to achieve an economic uranium recovery, oxidation to the much more soluble hexavalent state is of great importance. Trivalent iron compounds are commonly used to increase uranium's oxidation state. Hydrogen peroxide is applied for regeneration of the active Fe(III) ions in the eluent.

Effluent Treatment

hydrogen peroxide for the removal of cyanides from waste streams

H2O2 removes remaining cyanides from waste streams such as discharge water or tailing slurries. Cyanide removal from process water may also be required if flotation takes place on site. Cyanide is removed via oxidation in a single step, without the formation of toxic intermediates or final reaction products.

Logistics and product supply for the mining industry

Together with distribution and logistic partners in most parts of the world Evonik has set up a network to serve mines even in remote locations. This ensures short lead times, reliable supply and experts handling the sometimes tricky export and import processes.

Please ask us for a proposal and an offer for your specific mining sites, wherever these might be.

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