Common Nickel Processing Methods

2020-04-24 XinHai Views (1454)

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In the nickel processing method, nickel mineral is divided into copper sulfide mineral processing method and nickel oxide mineral processing method. There are many kinds of nickel mineral int nature, which are mainly divided into Cu-Ni sulfide ore and Cu-Ni oxide mineral according to mineral properties. Copper is the main impurity mineral in the nickel mineral, followed by lead, zinc, arsenic, fluorine, manganese, antimony, bismuth and chromium.

Use the table of contents below to navigate through the guide:

01Nickel Processing Methods for Copper Sulfide Nickel Mineral

Copper sulfide nickel mineral type is given priority to with magmatic liquation type copper-nickel, the nickel content in more than 3% for rich ore, which can direct smelting, and nickel content lower than 3%, which need to deal with the dressing.

The copper in Cu-Ni sulfide mineral mainly exists in the form of chalcopyrite, while the nickel mainly exists in the form of free nickel sulfide such as Ni-pyrite, stigmatite, and Zi-sulfonite. In addition, most of the nickel occurs inpyrrhotite in the form of a similar image. Therefore, the flotation method is commonly used to concentrate copper and nickel sulfide ore. The nickel processing methods are as follows:

1. Direct (or parts) preferential flotation method

This nickel processing method is the copper concentrate alone, used in the case of high copper content. The main characteristic of this nickel processing method is that the copper concentrate with low nickel content can be obtained directly.

2. Mixed flotation method

This nickel processing method mainly from mixed flotation of copper and nickel mineral, sorting out low nickel content in mixed concentrate of copper concentrate and the copper-nickel concentrate. The obtained copper-nickel concentrate can be directly smelted into a high ice nickel and then separated by the flotation. This nickel processing method is mainly suitable for this paration of copper and nickel mineral with low copper content.


3. Hybrid preferential flotation method

In this optimizing nickel processing method, copper and nickel after mixed flotation, again from mixed flotation tailings of nickel in the recycling process. This nickel processing method is mainly used under the condition that the floatability of various nickel minerals in ore varies greatly.

What's more, there is a basic principle when selecting the flotation method for Cu-Ni sulfide mineral, that is, it is better to let copper into the nickel concentrate than to let nickel lose in the copper separation process, because the loss of nickel in the copper concentrate is relatively large in the process of treatment and smelting, and the copper can still be recovered in the smelting of nickel concentrate.

02Nickel Processing Methods for Nickel Oxide Ore

At present, the development and utilization of nickel oxide minerals are mainly based on the nickel laterite ore. The main reason is that in the oxidation ore, nickel is often dispersed in gangue minerals with similar quality, and the coarse grains are relatively fine, so it is difficult to directly obtain the nickel concentrate through the mechanical dressing. Therefore, it is necessary to use crushing, screening and other processes to remove the bulk bedrock blocks with weak weathering degrees and low nickel content in advance.


Nickel oxide deposits are relatively shallow buried and suitable for large scale openpit mining and selective mining. After mining, nickel oxide is enriched by pyrotechnics and hydrometallurgy.

1. Fire smelting

This nickel processing method can be divided into smelting electric furnace smelting, nickel iron method and the grain of iron method. The rotary kiln pellet iron method is old and complicated, and the content of pellet iron is low, the recovery of nickel is low, so cobalt cannot be recovered. The nickel recovery rate of electric furnace smelting is high, some of which can be drilled into nickel-iron and recovered in the process of refining.

2. Wet smelting

This nickel processing method can be divided into reduction roasting of atmospheric ammonia leaching method and high-pressure acid leaching method. At present, both These nickel processing methods have been used in the industry. In addition, there are some new nickel processing methods, such as high-temperature chlorination and sulfuricroasting, which are still in the research stage.

The above is the common nickel processing methods. As for the final selection of the nickel processing method, we need to know the mineral properties through the ore dressing test analysis firs then customize the nickel processing method in line with the actual situation.

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