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Minerals 2016, 6(3), 67; doi:10.3390/min6030067

Recovery of Cobalt as Cobalt Oxalate from Cobalt Tailings Using Moderately Thermophilic Bioleaching Technology and Selective Sequential Extraction

School of Metallurgy, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: W. Scott Dunbar
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 28 June 2016 / Accepted: 1 July 2016 / Published: 5 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotechnologies and Mining)
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Cobalt is a very important metal which is widely applied in various critical areas, however, it is difficult to recover cobalt from minerals since there is a lack of independent cobalt deposits in nature. This work is to provide a complete process to recover cobalt from cobalt tailings using the moderately thermophilic bioleaching technology and selective sequential extraction. It is found that 96.51% Co and 26.32% Cu were extracted after bioleaching for four days at 10% pulp density. The mean compositions of the leach solutions contain 0.98 g·L−1 of Co, 6.52 g·L−1 of Cu, and 24.57 g·L−1 of Fe (III). The copper ion was then recovered by a solvent extraction process and the ferric ions were selectively removed by applying a goethite deironization process. The technological conditions of the above purification procedures were deliberately discussed. Over 98.6% of copper and 99.9% of ferric ions were eliminated from the leaching liquor. Cobalt was finally produced as cobalt oxalate and its overall recovery during the whole process was greater than 95%. The present bioleaching process of cobalt is worth using for reference to deal with low-grade cobalt ores. View Full-Text
Keywords: Carrollite (CoCu2S4); moderately thermophilic bioleaching; solvent extraction; goethite Carrollite (CoCu2S4); moderately thermophilic bioleaching; solvent extraction; goethite

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chen, G.; Yang, H.; Li, H.; Tong, L. Recovery of Cobalt as Cobalt Oxalate from Cobalt Tailings Using Moderately Thermophilic Bioleaching Technology and Selective Sequential Extraction. Minerals 2016, 6, 67.

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