Prospects for the Ferronickel Production Development from the Urals Oxidized Nickel Ores


Methods of ore processing are divided into hydro- and pyrometallurgical. The latter method is more common. Ferronickel is seeing high demand at present. It is produced by reducing electric smelting of previously calcined ore. This method is typically used because of the composition and quality of the products obtained (there is a particularly large market for Ferronickel of the standard ISO 6501:1988, containing at least 15% Ni). Processing technologies for converting poor oxidized nickel ores into ferronickel offer significant advantages, reducing the environmental impact and energy consumption, and increase the recovery of valuable metals. This study considers the processing technology of serpentinite ores, which includes: ore preparation (averaging, crushing and screening, drying); roasting a mixture of dried ore and crushed dolomite (flux) in tubular rotary kilns; melting of hot cinder with the addition of a reducing agent in an ore-smelting direct-current electric furnace to produce a rough ferronickel; refining ferronickel from impurities of carbon, silicon, sulfur, phosphorus, chromium was substantiated. During the industrial testing of electric smelting of calcined ores from the Ural deposits, ferronickel, containing (in wt. %) 8.9-15.5 Ni, 1.1 Cr, 0.17 Co, 0.1 S, 0.1 C was produced. Nickel extraction in ferronickel was 96.1 %, cobalt – 89.1 %.

Keywords: ore, nickel, production, heating, roasting and reduction, phase transitions

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