Pyrite, also known as fool’s gold, is the most abundant sulfide mineral. The luster of the mineral and its pale yellow color give it a superficial resemblance to gold. but may be more similar to precious metals
A new study published in the journal geology in collaboration with the University of Western Australia and the University of Geosciences of China. has proposed an understanding of the mineralogy nature of gold trapped in pyrite. This could lead to more abundant and environmentally friendly methods of extracting gold from pyrite.
Dr. Denis Fugerous, Principal Researcher at Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences said in a statement that “The rate of discovery of new gold deposits is decreasing globally with the quality of mineral degradation. along with the increasing value of precious metals.”
“Previously, gold extractors were able to find gold in dense ores, whether it be nanoparticles or dense gold alloys. But what we discovered is that gold can also host in nanoscale crystal defects, representing a new type of “invisible”; gold.
“The more deformed the crystal, the more The more gold is confined to its flaws. Gold exists in nanoscale defects called tolerances, which are one hundred thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair, so a special technique called atomic probes was needed to observe it.”
Fougerouse added that the gold in pyrite had never been known and could only be observed using scientific instruments known as atomic probes. Use pyrite as source
In what ways can this be improved?
“Generally, gold is extracted using pressure oxidizing techniques. (Similar to cooking), but this is an energy-hungry process. We want to find a more environmentally friendly extraction method,” Fugueros said.
“We considered an extraction process known as selective leaching. using liquids to extract gold from pyrites Discrepancies don’t just trap gold. But it also acts as a liquid pathway that allows gold to “wash out” without affecting all pyrites.