The Bureau of Mines cooperated with the Nord Resources Corp. to evaluate the feasibility of smelting a lateritic chromite concentrate from New Guinea to produce ferrochromium by electric arc furnace processing. One series of five tests was conducted in a nominal 100-kg furnace to evaluate slag compositions, carbonaceous reductants, and smelting characteristics of the chromite. A second series of five 1-ton furnace tests was made to obtain such engineering data as energy consumption, melting rates, and bath temperatures. A high-carbon ferrochromium can be prepared from the New Guinea lateritic chromite concentrate, although the phosphorus levels were high. Chromium recovery in the ferroalloy with up to 52 wt % chromium averaged nearly 80%. Energy consumption compared favorably with that reported in commercial practice. Submerged arc operations provided the most efficient smelting conditions. Agglomeration of the charge materials may not be required. Because of the relatively fine size of the chromite concentrate, carbon requirements should include woodchips to improve operation of the furnace.
Trans. Inst. Min. Metall., V. 92, June 1983, PP. C73-c82