The processing of lower-grade laterites to obtain nickel has increased due to the gradual depletion of higher-grade sulphide ore reserves. However, the extraction from laterites has been limited because conventional technologies imply a considerable expense of energy or reagents. In this document, the effect of thermal pre-treatments on a laterite sample is demonstrated to improve nickel leaching under moderate conditions. The influence of agents such as coke, coal and NaCl in the heat treatment was also studied. With the results it is presumed that part of the nickel occluded in the goethite migrates to the iron oxides surface during the heat treatment; this is why the dissolution of nickel is linked to that of iron. The highest extractions (64.7% nickel) were achieved by combining heat treatment and leaching with 1M H2SO4 at ambient conditions. Compared to direct leaching of unpretreated laterite, leaching rates for this metal are increased by 26.5%. The chlorinating calcination and the optimization of the studied variables will be favourable to reach higher metallic extractions.
Borda, Johana and Torres, Robinson
"Nickel recovery from low-grade laterites: study of thermal pre-treatments to improve the efficiency of the hydrometallurgical process,"
Journal of Sustainable Mining: Vol. 22
, Article 4.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.46873/2300-3960.1389
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