Hydrometallurgical processing of lateritic nickel ores

Thesis Type: Post Graduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Turkey

Approval Date: 2010




The objective of this thesis study is to recover nickel and cobalt at maximum efficiency from column leach liquor of lateritic nickel ores existing in Gördes region of Manisa by performing various hydrometallurgical methods under the optimum conditions. This column leach solution of nontronite type lateritic nickel ore was initially neutralized and purified from its basic impurities by a two stage iron removal process under the optimum conditions determined experimentally. Then, nickel and cobalt were precipitated in the form of mixed hydroxide precipitate from the purified leach solution by a two stage precipitation method called “MHP” and a manganese removal process was carried out also under the optimum conditions determined. By decreasing Mn concentration with this process to an acceptable level yielding at most 10% Mn in hydroxide precipitate, it was possible to produce a qualified MHP product suitable to the current marketing and standard conditions. As a result of this thesis study, the experiments conducted showed that by recycle leaching with sulfuric acid about 81% of Ni and 63% of Co in the lateritic nickel ore (9.72 kg Ni / ton of ore and 0.28 kg Co / ton of ore) could be extracted as mixed hydroxide precipitate by MHP method. The MHP product contains 41.9% Ni, 1.0% Co, 2.3% Mn, 0.06% Al, 1.5% Mg, 0.02% Fe, 0.01% Cr, 0.25% Zn, 0.03% Cu and 4.73% S.