Journal article

Electrochemical passivation of sphalerite during bacterial oxidation in the presence of galena

G da Silva, MR Lastra, JR Budden

Minerals Engineering | PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD | Published : 2003


Sphalerite (ZnS), a mineral of particular hydrometallurgical interest, is generally found associated with galena (PbS). As such, the effect of galena on the leaching of sphalerite is of importance, and has been studied here for bacterial and ferric sulphate leaching. During both leaching processes galena was selectively oxidised to anglesite in favour of the dissolution of sphalerite. It is believed that this selective behaviour is due to galvanic interactions between the two minerals, whereby galena is sacrificed and sphalerite is passivated. This theory is consistent with the order of measured rest potential values of both minerals in solution, being 325 mV for galena and 375 mV for sphale..

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University of Melbourne Researchers