Review of the past, present, and future of the hydrometallurgical production of nickel and cobalt from lateritic ores

  • Srdjan Stanković Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Stilleweg 2, Hannover, Germany
  • Srećko Stopić IME Proces Metallurgy and Metal Recycling, RWTH Aachen University, Intzestrasse 3, 52056 Aachen, Germany
  • Miroslav Sokić Institute for Technology of Nuclear and Other Mineral Raw Materials, Franchet d’Esperey Boulevard 86, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
  • Branislav Marković Institute for Technology of Nuclear and Other Mineral Raw Materials, Franchet d’Esperey Boulevard 86, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
  • Bernd Friedrich IME Proces Metallurgy and Metal Recycling, RWTH Aachen University, Intzestrasse 3, 52056 Aachen, Germany
Keywords: hydrometallurgy; laterites; nickel; cobalt

Abstract

Laterite ores are becoming the most important global source of nickel and cobalt. Pyrometallurgical processing of the laterites is still a dominant technology, but the share of nickel and cobalt produced by the application of various hydrometallurgical technologies is increasing. Hydrometallurgy is a less energy-demanding process, resulting in lower operational costs and environmental impacts. This review covers past technologies for hydrometallurgical processing of nickel and cobalt (Caron), current technologies (high-pressure acid leaching, atmospheric leaching, heap leaching), developing technologies (Direct nickel, Neomet) as well as prospective biotechnologies (Ferredox process).

References

A. Oxley, M.E. Smith, O. Caceres: Miner Eng, 88 (2016) 53-60.

Crossref

A. Dalvi, G. Bacon, R. Osborne: The past and the future of nickel laterites, PDAC 2004 International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange, March 2004.

M. Elias: Nickel Laterite Deposits-Geological Overview, Resources and Exploitation. Centre for Ore Deposit Research, University of Tasmania, Special Publication, 4 (2002) 205-220.

N.W. Brand, C.R.M. Butt, M.Elias: AGSO journal of Australian geology & geophysics, 17 (1998) 81-88.

E.E. Marsh and E.D. Anderson: Ni-Co laterite deposits, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1259, (2011) 9p.

Crossref

S. Stopić, B. Friedrich: Mil Tech Cour, 64 (2016) 1033-1047.

Crossref

J. Kyle: Nickel laterite processing technologies - where to next? In: ALTA 2010 Nickel/Cobalt/Copper Conference Proceedings, Perth, WA, Australia, 2010 May,

Link

A. Taylor: Technical & Cost Comparison of Laterite Treatment Processes Part 1. In: ALTA 2014 Proceedings, Perth, WA, Australia: 2014 May, pp. 35-46.

M. Dry: Technical & Cost Comparison of Laterite Treatment Processes Part 2. In: ALTA 2014 Proceedings, Perth, WA, Australia: 2014 May, pp. 47-65.

Link

R.G. MacDonald and B.I. Whittington: Hydrometallurgy, 91 (2008) 35-55.

Crossref

N. Panagiotopoulos, S. Agatzini, A. Kontopoulos: Extraction of nickel and cobalt from serpentinic type laterites by atmospheric pressure sulphuric acid leaching. In Proceedings of the Technical Sessions at the 115th TMS-AIME Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, USA, 2-6 March 1986p. A86-30.

K. Komnitsas, E. Petrakis, O. Pantelaki, A. Kritikaki: Minerals, 8 (2018) 377.

Crossref

B. Harris and C. White: Recent Developments in the Chloride Processing of Nickel Laterites. In: ALTA 2011 Nickel/Cobalt/Copper Conference Proceedings, Perth, WA, Australia 2011 May, pp. 12-24.

Link

J.D. Batty and G.V. Rorke: Hydrometallurgy, 83 (2006) 83-89.

Crossref

A. Schippers and W. Sand: Appl Environ Microbiol, 65 (1999) 319-321.

Crossref

D.B. Johnson, B.M. Grail, K.B. Hallber: Minerals, 3 (2013) 49-58.

Crossref

I. Nancucheo, B.M. Grail, F. Hilario, C. Du Plesis, D.B. Johnson: Appl Microbiol Biotechnol, 98 (2014) 6297-6305.

Crossref

K. Coupland, D.B. Johnson: FEMS Microbiol Lett, 279 (2008) 30-35.

Crossref

T.A.M. Bridge and D.B. Johnson: Geomicrobiol J, 17 (2000) 193-206.

Crossref

J. Valdés, I. Pedroso, R. Quatrini, R.J. Dodson, H. Tettelin, R. Blake, J.A. Eisen, D.S. Holmes: BMC Genom, 9 (2008) 597.

Crossref

D.B. Johnson and C.A. du Plesis: Miner Eng, 75(2015) 2-5.

Crossref

C.A. Du Plesis, W. Slabbert, K.B. Hallberg, D.B. Johsnon: Ferredox: Hydrometallurgy, 109 (2011) 221-229.

Crossref

J. Gabb, HPAL: Upping the pressure, Global Mining Research, March 2018. Link

Ş. Kaya and Y. A. Topkaya, High pressure acid leaching of a nickel laterite ore to extract scandium. In: ERES 2014- 1st International Conference on European Rare Earth Resources. 2015. Milos Island, Greece: Heliotopos Conferences Ltd.

I. Nancucheo, G. Oliveira, M. Lopes, D.B. Johnson: Minerals, 9 (2019) 136.

Crossref

Published
2020-07-22
Section
Hydrometallurgical operations and processes