© 2021 Elsevier LtdThe recovery of zinc from a flotation tailing using 17-different leaching agents, including inorganic and organic acids, alkaline solutions and chelating agents, was investigated. The effects of the lixiviant type, acid concentration, leaching temperature, leaching time, and solid-to-liquid ratio on the metals dissolution were studied. The use of sulfuric acid resulted in 91% of zinc extraction with a high selectivity against lead. The major impurities of lead, iron, calcium and arsenic precipitated during the leaching process as a segnisite, beudantite, gypsum, and goethite in this lixiviant. It was seen that the addition of oxidants in sulfuric acid solution slightly increased zinc dissolution. The citric acid dissolved 90.1% of zinc along with 9.1% lead. 90% of zinc dissolution was achieved by using malic acid, and high selectivity between zinc and lead dissolutions was also observed. The citric and malic acid leach residues contained a substantial amount of segnitite, beudantite, and quartz as the major phases. In term of zinc and lead dissolution selectivity, the best inorganic agents were determined in the following order: sulfuric acid > hydrochloric acid > perchloric acid > nitric acid. With organic agents, the best zinc and lead selectivity was achieved in the following order: sulfosalicylic acid > citric acid > malic acid > formic acid > tartaric acid > ascorbic acid. The best simultaneous zinc and lead dissolutions were achieved using sodium hydroxide agent. Using 5 M sodium hydroxide at 80 °C and 1/10 solid-to-liquid ratio for 180 min. leaching time, 81.4% of zinc and 47.4% of lead were dissolved while leaving a considerable amount of iron in the residue. When the ammonium chloride was used as a lixiviant, the silver and zinc were taken into the leach solution. 61.3% of zinc dissolution was obtained by using 50% ammonia as lixiviant, whereas no iron and lead dissolutions were observed. Using 0.37 M EDTA at 80 °C, 1/10 solid-to-liquid ratio for 180 min. leaching time, more than 90% of zinc dissolved along with a substantial amount of iron, arsenic and lead co-dissolutions. 47.4% of zinc dissolution was obtained at 80 °C and 1/10 solid-to-liquid ratio for 180 min. leaching time when sodium citrate was used as lixiviant, whereas less than 20% of zinc dissolved using ammonium oxalate at similar leaching condition. 39% zinc was dissolved using 3 M ammonium acetate at 80 °C, 1/10 solid-to-liquid ratio for 180 min., while 23.1% of zinc dissolution was achieved when the ammonium acetate was tested under similar experimental conditions. As a result, sulfuric, citric, malic, sulfosalicylic and formic acids were deemed to be the most promising leaching agents for the selective recovery of zinc from the lead–zinc flotation tailing.