A Brief Overview of Recycling and

Recovery in the Precious Metals Industry
Dr. Robert T. Jacobsen, vice president
Sabin metal corporation
Scottsville, NY
Primary: The Mines, Mills, & Smelters
Feedstocks: Ores
Sinks: Refineries on or off site
Products: Alloys, Concentrates
Sources: Mines
Primary: The Mines, Mills, & Smelters
Flowchart
Mine > Mill > Smelter > Refinery
Secondary: PM Recycling & Recovery
(The High Class Junk Men)
Feedstocks:
Manufacturing Scraps,
Slags, Spent Materials,
Obsolete, Worn Out, or Surplus
Devices or Parts
Secondary: The High Class Junk Men
Sources:
Electronics, Photo, Petroleum
Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Food,
Polymer, Glass, Aircraft, Mining,
Fertilizer, Nitric Acid,
Medical, Plating,
and other Industries
plus
Military and Post-consumer
Scrap and “Waste”
Secondary: The High Class Junk Men
Products:
Sweeps, Concentrates,
Bullion, Fine Metal and Salts
plus
Residues, e.g
Slags, Refractories, Sludges
Secondary: The High Class Junk Men
Sinks:
User Manufacturers,
Primary PM Plants,
Other Secondary Plants,
In House Refineries
Secondary: The High Class Junk Men
Flowchart
Main Differences: Primary vs Secondary
Collection
Valuation Method
Grade
Scale
Secondary PM Industry Processes
Much the same as Primary Industry
Crushing /Grinding
Ball Mills
Wet Dry
Crushers
Jaw, Cone
Hammer
Secondary PM Industry Processes
Secondary PM Industry Processes
Thermal Reduction
Roasting
Indirect Fired Kilns
Direct Fired Kilns
Box Kilns
Rotary Kilns
Secondary PM Industry Processes
Pyro-metallurgical
Smelting
Rotary
Crucible
Fossil Fuel
Induction
Submerged Arc
Plasma Arc
Secondary PM Industry Processes
Hydro-metallurgical
Classical Dissolve & Precipitate
Cyanide Strip
Acid/Base Digestion
Solvent Extraction
Ion Exchange
Liquid Chromatography
Secondary PM Industry Processes
Physical Separations
Gravity
Froth Flotation
Magnetic
Flotation Cell
Wilfley Table
Secondary PM Assay Laboratory
Secondary PM Industry
Environmental Aspects
Central Characteristic of Secondary PM Industry
Therefore
Sampling and Analysis!
Customers wish to be PAID
(either metal or money)
Almost always
transaction cannot wait for turnout
Secondary Recycler Must Determine
to the Best of His Ability the Amount
of Precious Metal Contained in the
Feed Stock significant
processing!
Before
Therefore
the Secondary Precious Metals Industry
Often Incurs More Expense for
Sampling and Analysis
Than for the Actual Recovery /Refining
Process
Secondary PM Industry
Assay Laboratory
The usual responsibilities for any mine or mill:
Production Control
Quality Assurance
BUT ALSO
SETTLEMENT ASSAYS
Which carry right down to the
Bottom Line
Sampling or Assay Errors
Can be Disastrous:
If too high, refiner pays out more than he has and
Fails!
If too low, refiner loses his customer and
Fails!
Solution Sampling
Aqueous
Molten
Trier’s tube not the best
Dry Sampling
V Blender
Dry Sampling
Blending not the best
What is an Auto Sampler?
>A device for extracting a small representative
sample from a relatively large lot of material for
the purpose of evaluating the composition of
the entire lot.
>The material must be in a free flowing state,
either liquid or free flowing particulate mass.
What is an Auto Sampler?
>A device for extracting a small representative
sample from a relatively large lot of material for
the purpose of evaluating the composition of
the entire lot.
>The material must be in a free flowing state,
either liquid or free flowing particulate mass.
>The material must be made to move in a
steady stream past or through the device.
> Sizes of auto samplers vary
enormously!!
Laboratory Auto-sampler
Medium Auto-sampler
Catalyst Sampler

(Quality Handling Systems Pty Ltd)
Fundamentals of Fair Auto-Samplers
>Full Stream Equi-volumetric Cuts
>Properly sized Extraction Device; e.g. 10:1
>Many cuts or “Increments”
>All of the Material in Either Sample or Reject
>Large enough sample size
>Easily Cleaned
Full Stream Linear Cutter
© Copyright 2008, CSIRO Australia
Particle Size Vs. Sample Size
Assumptions:
>Truckload of Bowling Balls: 20,000 kg.
>10 % Glass, 90 % Plastic, 8 kg. each
>Large Well Designed Bowling Ball Sampler
Determine the Percentage of Glass in the Mixture
How Far to Split the lot Before Crushing:
2,000 kg. ?
200 kg. ?
20 kg. ?
Often Ignored in Our Industry !
Particle Size Vs. Sample Size
If We Split to 200 kg. and Crush it All:
Can We Expect Accuracy to +/- 2% ?
>>>>>>>>NO !<<<<<<<<
We Assumed 10 % Glass
10 % of 200 kg. = 20 kg.
But the Balls Weigh 8 kg. Each
Therefore There Should be 2.5 Balls
Impossible!
The best we can do is +/20% !
Safe (+/- 1%) Sample Size for typical Pt on alumina reforming catalyst
Thank You
Thank You !