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ArticleName Hydrometallurgical operations in complex technology of limonite ores processing
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2020.09.06
ArticleAuthor Kositskaya T. Yu., Lapin A. Yu., Shneerson Ya. M.

SRC Hydrometallurgy (LLC), Saint Petersburg, Russia:
T. Yu. Kositskaya
, Senior Researcher, Candidate of Technical Sciences, e-mail:
A. Yu. Lapin, Principal Researcher, Candidate of Technical Sciences, e-mail:
Ya. M. Shneerson, R&D Director, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, e-mail:


Oxidized nickel ores (ONO) constitute nearly half of the world’s reserves of Ni. The study of ONO processing is a relevant task for today. The present paper provides the flowsheet of nickel and cobalt concentrates production using atmospheric sulfuric acid leach of calcine after reducing roasting of ONO. The high-quality concentrate of non-ferrous metals production route includes preliminary solution purification providing high-grade Ni and Co solution and iron precipitate. The flowsheet is based on triple-operation technology of selective hydrolytic precipitation of iron and non-ferrous metals. For the first and second operations limestone is used, for the third – highquality magnesium oxide. For each operation the optimal conditions are offered, as well as maximum achievable indicators are set. The key factors that determine the effectiveness of each stage of the process and therefore the technology as a whole are established. The consumption of neutralization agent CaCO3 at the first processing stage is found to be 10 to 13 kg/m3 of solution. The duration of t he operation is at least 4 hours with intensive aeration of the slurry. The degree of iron precipitation reaches 50–53%, nickel and cobalt less than 0.5%. The resulting precipitate is a waste cake. The pH value is the key factor for the second processing stage where the recycled cake is formed. The value of pH should be in the range of 4.1–4.3. In this case at least 98% of iron and only 10–15% of non-ferrous metals are precipitated by CaCO3. The activity of a neutralizer is the key factor for the third stage of the process. The recommended reagent is MgO. High-quality concentrate (more than 30% Ni+Co) can be produced only with at least 75% of the main substance in this reagent.

keywords Oxidized nickel ores, stage neutralization, limestone, hydrolytic iron precipitation, magnesium oxide

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