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Solvent Extraction of Nickel and Copper from Laterite-ammoniacal Leach Liquors.

Nilsen DN; Siemens RE; Rhoads SC
MISSING :29 pages
The Bureau of Mines is investigating a method to recover ni, cu, and CO from low-grade domestic laterites through reduction roasting, leaching, solvent extraction, and electrowinning unit operations. The objective of this research is to develop processing technology that can convert low-grade domestic deposits containing critical metals into national reserves. As a part of this research, a solvent extraction system was investigated for the extraction of nickel and copper, followed by the separation and production of suitable electrolytes. Nickel and copper were coextracted from ammoniacal ammonium sulfate leach liquors (ph 9.5) With lix 64n extractant in a laboratory-size mixer-settler continuous circuit. Three extraction stages resulted in > 99-pct extraction of nickel, substantial copper extraction, and essentially no cobalt extraction from leach liquors. A crowd stage reduced the ammonia loading on the solvent by maximizing nickel loading. Residual ammonia was removed from the loaded solvent with a ph-controlled scrub. Nickel and copper loaded on the solvent were separated by selective stripping. Typical nickel strip circuit operation using electrolyte containing 90 grams per liter (g/l) ni and 11.9 G/l h2so4 yielded > 99.9 pct ni stripped from the solvent in five stages. The copper loading on the recycled solvent was controlled in a copper strip stage using electrolyte containing 25 g/l cu and 160 g/l h2so4.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigations
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
RI 8605
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Page last reviewed: November 19, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division