Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China The Chinese Journal of Nonferrous Metals

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中国有色金属学报(英文版)

Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China

Vol. 22    No. 4    April 2012

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Mineralogy and crystal chemistry of a low grade nickel laterite ore
ZHU De-qing1, CUI Yu1, Sarath HAPUGODA 2, Keith VINING 2, PAN Jian1

1. School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China;
2. Process Science and Engineering, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization,
P.O. Box 883, Kenmore QLD 4069, Australia

Abstract:To acquire understanding of Ni enrichment from laterite ore, the mineralogy and crystal chemistry of a low grade limonite type nickel laterite ore sample assaying 0.97% Ni from Indonesia were studied using optical microscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electron probe microanalysis (EPMA). According to EPMA results, the mineral includes 80% goethite ((Fe, Ni, Al)O(OH)) with 0.87% Ni, 15% silicate minerals with lizardite ((Mg, Fe, Ni)3Si2O5(OH)) and olivine ((Mg, Fe, Ni)2SiO4), and 1.19% Ni, and other minor phases, such as hematite, maghemite, chromite and quartz, and no Ni was detected. The mineralogy of the laterite ore indicates that due to the complicated association of the various phases and the variable distribution of Ni, this refractory laterite ore can not be upgraded by traditional physical beneficiation processes.

 

Key words: nickel laterite; crystal chemistry; nickel occurrence; goethite; lizardite

ISSN 1004-0609
CN 43-1238/TG
CODEN: ZYJXFK

ISSN 1003-6326
CN 43-1239/TG
CODEN: TNMCEW

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