High Temperature Pressure Oxidation of a Low-Grade Nickel Sulfide Concentrate with Control of the Residue Composition

Robbie G. McDonald, Jian Li, Peter J. Austin
2020 Minerals  
High temperature pressure oxidation of a low-grade nickel concentrate was examined to demonstrate the potential benefits and shortcomings of this approach. The high iron sulfide content ensured that acid generation was much greater than for higher grade concentrates. This results in the formation of basic iron sulfate phases and a significant amount of sulfuric acid. Kinetic sampling during pressure oxidation tests also demonstrated the transformation of sulfide minerals, including the
more » ... luding the oxidative transformations of pentlandite to violarite and then to vaesite, the latter phase not previously noted in studies of this kind. Finally, addition of a divalent metal sulfate buffer, here magnesium sulfate, mitigates the formation of basic iron sulfates but with greater generation of sulfuric acid in the leach liquor. Under the conditions employed in this study, this acid could be employed to leach other nickel-containing materials such as nickel laterites.
doi:10.3390/min10030249 fatcat:3xqwgvr2f5fvla4tl4eua45lr4