Hydrometallurgical extraction of nickel and cobalt from Çaldağ lateritic ore

Özdemir, Veysel
In this study, an attempt has been made to hydrometallurgical extraction of cobalt and nickel by atmospheric pressure sulphuric acid leaching and a pug-roast-leach process using two stage roasting for lateritic ore. The ore used in the study was obtained from Çaldağ Lateritic Ore, Manisa, Turkey. The metal contents of the ore are 2.1 % Ni, 0.12 % Co, 32.45 % Fe, 1.01 % Mn, 2.58 % Cr, 0.78 % Mg and 1.01 % Al. The reserve of lateritic ore deposit is approximately 40 million tonnes. In the study, first sulphuric acid leaching was applied at atmospheric pressure for leaching the Çaldağ lateritic ore. The effect of various parameters, such as leaching time, leaching temperature, particle size, pulp density and acid strength on Ni and Co extractions were determined. By leaching at 80oC for 40 wt % H2SO4 addition of ore, 1/3 pulp density, Ni and Co extractions were found 44.49 % and 53.03 % respectively, yielded a pregnant solution containing 3.11 g/L Ni and 0.12 g/L Co. But the result of atmospheric pressure sulphuric acid leaching was considered insufficient from the recovery point of view. In the pug-roast-leach process, which is consisted of a two stage roasting followed by water leaching, decomposition temperature differences of sulphates of cobalt, nickel and iron are exploited. In this process, amount of acid, sulphatization and decomposition temperature, sulphatization and decomposition time, leaching temperature and time, solid/liquid ratio, and the effect of water addition during pugging were optimized. Under the optimized conditions (sulphuric acid: 25 wt % of ore; moisture: 20 wt % of ore; sulphatization temperature: 450oC; sulphatization time: 30 minutes; decomposition temperature: 700oC; decomposition time: 60 minutes; leaching temperature: 70oC; leaching time: 30 minutes and solid-liquid ratio: 1/4 by weight), Co and Ni extractions were found 91.4 and 84.4 percent, respectively. A pregnant solution containing 3.084 g/L Ni and 0.185 g/L Co was obtained. These results were considered sufficient for the leaching of lateritic nickel ores.


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Citation Formats
V. Özdemir, “Hydrometallurgical extraction of nickel and cobalt from Çaldağ lateritic ore,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2006.