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Types and characteristics of laterite nickel ore

2023-08-24 Xinhai (216)

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The formation of lateritic nickel ore is mainly a hydrous oxide mineral formed due to climate change (by rainforest, oxidation, etc.). According to the different components of nickel ore, it can be divided into limonite nickel ore and magnesium nickel ore. Let's take a look at the characteristics of these two types of laterite nickel ore.

lateritic nickel ore type

Limonite-type laterite nickel: limonite-type laterite nickel is generally located in the upper part of the ore deposit. The main feature is that the content of nickel, silicon and magnesium is low, while the content of iron and cobalt is high. This type of laterite nickel is used in ore dressing. It is often processed by hydrometallurgy process.

Simagnesium-nickel ore-type laterite nickel: Simagnesium-nickel ore is also called residual ore, which is mostly located in the lower part of the ore deposit. It is characterized by high content of nickel, silicon, and magnesium, and relatively low content of iron and cobalt. This type of laterite nickel ore In terms of beneficiation methods, pyrometallurgy is often used for processing.


The composition and extraction process of laterite nickel ore of different mineral types are shown in the table below:


Common features of laterite nickel ore

Although there are several different types of laterite nickel, they all share some common characteristics, as follows:


1. The grade of nickel content is low: the mineral composition ratio of general nickel sulfide minerals will be much more complicated, and all kinds of laterites are ores formed after differentiation, which will contain a large amount of ultra-fine materials and a large amount of water (both surface water and water of crystallization), and minerals are mixed with varying amounts of hard rock. According to the mineral composition of the rock, it can be discarded or processed, but in the process, screening, crushing, scrubbing and other work are required.


2. The content of mineral components fluctuates greatly: for laterite nickel minerals, not only the content of valuable elements of nickel and cobalt varies greatly, but also the composition of gangue minerals (such as manganese, iron, magnesium, etc.). The composition also varies with the depth of the deposit.


3. Gravel content and particle size vary greatly: in laterite minerals, although the particle size of the gravel is limonite as a whole, it contains less gravel and its particle size is smaller, but the residual layer contains more gravel and its particle size is larger. The gravel size ranges from 3mm to 2000mm.


4. Large changes in moisture: laterite nickel is generally divided into two types: wet type and dry type. According to the different types, the moisture content will vary greatly. Even for the same deposit, the ore moisture content varies greatly in the dry season and the rainy season.

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