Physicochemical Problems of Mineral Processing
This study focused on the extraction of nickel from a low-grade lateritic ore. The characterization of representative samples was done by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and microscopic mineralogical studies. Nickel was uniformly distributed in iron (hydr)oxide minerals. The pre-concentration of nickel was attempted by magnetic separation, but was unsuccessful. The effect of the type of lixiviant, acid concentration, S/L ratio, time, and temperature were investigated in the atmospheric leaching process. Based on the experimental data, optimum conditions for the maximum recovery of nickel were determined under the following conditions: 5 M H2SO4, 25% (w/v), 90 °C, and two hours. Pre-calcination, for increasing nickel extraction by converting goethite to hematite, was carried out on raw ores at different times (30-180 minutes) and temperatures (180-540 °C). Recovery was found increasing from 69 to 95% under the same conditions. Kinetic studies were conducted by fitting the data with Shrinking Core (SC) models. The study determined, from the estimate of activation energy, that the rate of reaction controlled by chemical reaction. © Wroclaw University of Science and Technology.
Year of publication: 2018