Extractive Metallurgy of Nickel, Cobalt and Platinum Group Metals


  • Frank Crundwell, Dr. Frank K. Crundwell Director CM Solutions Parklands, South Africa
  • Michael Moats, University of Utah, UT, USA
  • Venkoba Ramachandran, Ram consultants, AZ, USA
  • Timothy Robinson, Freeport-McMoRan Mining Company
  • W. G. Davenport, University of Arizona, AZ, USA

This book describes and explains the methods by which three related ores and recyclables are made into high purity metals and chemicals, for materials processing. It focuses on present day processes and future developments rather than historical processes.

Nickel, cobalt and platinum group metals are key elements for materials processing. They occur together in one book because they (i) map together on the periodic table (ii) occur together in many ores and (iii) are natural partners for further materials processing and materials manufacturing. They all are, for example, important catalysts – with platinum group metals being especially important for reducing car and truck emissions. Stainless steels and CoNiFe airplane engine super alloys are examples of practical usage.

The product emphasises a sequential, building-block approach to the subject gained through the author’s previous writings (particularly Extractive Metallurgy of Copper in four editions) and extensive experience. Due to the multiple metals involved and because each metal originates in several types of ore – e.g. tropical ores and arctic ores this necessitates a multi-contributor work drawing from multiple networks and both engineering and science.

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Graduate students within extractive metallurgy and metallurgical engineering. Working professionals, including metallurgists and mining, chemical, plant or environmental engineers and researchers within industry. Stainless steel producers and Turbine experts.


Book information

  • Published: August 2011
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-08-096809-4


"The strength of the book lies in the number of Tables comparing production details in different smelters and refineries around the world and the list of references at the end of each chapter. The book also includes many operating details for furnaces and other equipment as well as analyses of materials handled. This information must be considered as authoritative since the authors mention that they visited many plants and collected data on site... The book is a welcome addition to the metallurgical library and any one involved in the nickel industry must be aware of this book."--MEIBlog
"A team of specialists from various companies and universities trace the extraction and processing of the three metals from ore in the ground to high-purity metals and chemicals. Nickel, cobalt, and platinum-group metals often occur together, are extracted together, and have similar properties. The topics discussed include smelting laterite concentrates to sulfide matte, extracting nickel and cobalt from sulfide ores, the slow cooling and solidification of converter matte, extracting cobalt from nickel laterite and sulfide ores, and smelting and converting sulfide concentrates containing platinum-group metals."--Reference and Research News, October 2012

Table of Contents

Overview; Nickel Occurrence, Production, Use and Price; Production of Ferronickel and Nickel from Laterite Ore – Ore Upgrading; Smelting Laterite Concentrates to Ferronickel – Dewatering and Calcination/Reduction; Smelting Laterite Concentrates to Ferronickel – Electric Furnace Reduction/Melting; Refining Ferronickel; Smelting Laterite Concentrates to Sulfide Matte; Roasting Ni Matte to Oxide and Metal; Capture of SO2 as Sulfuric Acid; Hydrometallurgy of Laterite ores – Overview and High Temperature Sulfuric Acid Leaching; Solid/Liquid Separation; Solution Purification and Sulfide Precipitation; Extraction of Nickel from Sulfide ores – Introduction and Concentrate Production; Smelting Sulfide Concentrates – Introduction and Electric Furnace Smelting; Flash Smelting Ni Sulfide Concentrates; Oxidizing Molten Smelting Furnace Matte (Converting); Separation of Matte into Three Phases; Carbonyl Refining of Impure Ni Metal; Hydrometallurgical Production of High Purity Nickel from Ni Sulfide Intermediates; Co/Ni Separation and Solution Purification; Electrowinning and H2 Reduction of Nickel and Cobalt; Cobalt Occurrence, Production, Use and Price; Extraction of Cobalt from Sulfide Ores; Extraction of Cobalt from Laterite Ores; Extraction of Cobalt from Central African Co-Cu Ores; Platinum Group Metal Occurrence, Production, Use and Price; Production of Pt Sulfide Concentrates; Smelting Pt Concentrates to Matte; Preparing Pt Refinery Feed from Matte; Pt Group Metal Refining; Recycling of Nickel, Cobalt and Platinum Group Metals. Appendices A Metal Properties; B Stoichiometric Data; C Thermodynamic Data; D Minor processes – e.g. Moroccan Arsenic Ore Processing