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Factors Affecting the Upgrading of a Nickeliferous Limonitic Laterite Ore by Reduction Roasting, Thermal Growth and Magnetic Separation

The Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining, Queens’s University, Kingston, ON K7L3N6, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2017, 7(9), 176;
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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There is considerable interest in the development of new processes to extract the nickel from the oxidic nickeliferous laterite deposits, as the global nickel sulphide resources are rapidly becoming more difficult to access. In comparison to sulphide ores, where the nickel-containing mineral can be readily concentrated by flotation, nickel laterites are not amenable to significant upgrading, due to their complex mineralogy. In this paper, firstly, a brief overview of the conventional techniques used to process the nickeliferous limonitic laterites is given, as well as a review of current research in the area. Secondly, a thermodynamic model is developed to simulate the roasting process and to aid in the selection of process parameters to maximize the nickel recovery and grade and also to minimize the magnetite content of the concentrate. Thirdly, a two-stage process involving reduction roasting and thermal growth in either a tube furnace or a rotary kiln furnace, followed by magnetic separation, was investigated. Thermogravimetric, differential thermal and mineral liberation analyses techniques were utilized to further understand the process. Finally, the nickel grades and recovery results were compared to those available in the literature. View Full-Text
Keywords: laterites; limonite; nickel; reduction roasting; magnetic separation laterites; limonite; nickel; reduction roasting; magnetic separation

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Rodrigues, F.; Pickles, C.A.; Peacey, J.; Elliott, R.; Forster, J. Factors Affecting the Upgrading of a Nickeliferous Limonitic Laterite Ore by Reduction Roasting, Thermal Growth and Magnetic Separation. Minerals 2017, 7, 176.

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