Extractive Metallurgy of Nickel, Cobalt and Platinum Group Metals

Extractive Metallurgy of Nickel, Cobalt and Platinum Group Metals

1st Edition - July 18, 2011

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  • Authors: Frank Crundwell, Michael Moats, Venkoba Ramachandran, Tim Robinson, W. G. Davenport
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080968100
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780080974781

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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.

Key Features

  • Synthesizes detailed review of the fundamental chemistry and physics of extractive metallurgy with practical lessons from industrial consultancies at the leading international plants
  • Discusses Nickel, Cobalt and Platinum Group Metals for the first time in one book
  • Reviews extraction of multiple metals from the same tropical or arctic ore
  • Industrial, international and multidisciplinary focus on current standards of production supports best practice use of industrial resources


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.

Table of Contents

  • Preface


    Chapter 1. Overview

    1.1. Extraction of Nickel and Cobalt

    1.2. Extraction of Cobalt From Copper–COBALT Ores

    1.3. Extraction of Platinum-Group Metals From Sulfide Ores

    1.4. Recovering Nickel, Cobalt and Platinum-Group Metals From End-of-Use Scrap

    1.5. Organization of Major Themes and Topics

    1.6. Summary

    Chapter 2. Nickel Production, Price, and Extraction Costs

    2.1. Applications of Nickel

    2.2. Location of Nickel Mines and Extraction Plants

    2.3. Price of Nickel

    2.4. Costs of Nickel Extraction

    2.5. Summary

    Chapter 3. Upgrading of Laterite Ores

    3.1. Laterite Ores

    3.2. Upgrading of Laterite Ores

    3.3. Extent of Upgrading

    3.4. Economic Justification for Upgrading Laterites

    3.5. Principles and Methods of Upgrading Laterites

    3.6. Evaluation

    3.7. Summary

    Chapter 4. Overview of the Smelting of Nickel Laterite to Ferronickel

    4.1. Feed to Ferronickel Smelting

    4.2. Ferronickel Product

    4.3. Principles of Ferronickel Smelting

    4.4. Brief Process Description

    Chapter 5. Dewatering and Calcination of Laterite Ores

    5.1. Dewatering of the Upgraded Laterite Ore

    5.2. Control of the Dewatering Kiln

    5.3. Calcination and Reduction of Dewatered Laterite

    5.4. Chemistry

    5.5. Products

    5.6. Appraisal

    5.7. Summary

    Chapter 6. Smelting of Laterite Ores to Ferronickel

    6.1. reactions in the Electric Furnace

    6.2. Nickel Recovery

    6.3. Melting Temperatures

    6.4. Industrial Smelting Furnaces

    6.5. Method of Heating the Furnace

    6.6. Electrodes

    6.7. Furnace Operation

    6.8. Control

    6.9. Appraisal and Future Trends

    6.10. Summary

    Chapter 7. Refining Molten Ferronickel

    7.1. Phosphorus Removal

    7.2. Sulfur Removal

    7.3. Industrial Refining

    7.4. Removing Other Impurities

    7.5. Casting of Ferronickel

    7.6. Appraisal

    7.7. Summary

    Chapter 8. Smelting Laterite Concentrates to Sulfide Matte

    8.1. Matte Production Flowsheets

    8.2. Pt Inco Process

    8.3. Le Nickel Process – Making Matte from Molten Refined Ferronickel

    8.4. Process Appraisal

    8.5. Summary

    Chapter 9. Roasting Matte to Nickel Oxide and Metal

    9.1. Matte Roasting Objectives

    9.2. Chemistry

    9.3. Products

    9.4. Industrial Roasting

    9.5. Re-Roasting

    9.6. Fluidization

    9.7. Advantages Of Fluidized Beds

    9.8. Industrial Operation

    9.9. Reduction Roasting

    9.10. Nickel Recovery

    9.11. Sulfur Capture

    9.12. Summary

    Chapter 10. Overview of the Hydrometallurgical Processing of Laterite Ores

    10.1. Introduction

    10.2. Alternatives to Mixed Sulfide Precipitation

    10.3. Downstream Processing

    10.4. Summary

    Chapter 11. High-Temperature Sulfuric Acid Leaching of Laterite Ores

    11.1. Chapter Objectives

    11.2. Sulfuric Acid Leaching

    11.3. Chemistry

    11.4. Autoclave Operation

    11.5. Process Appraisal

    11.6. Summary

    Chapter 12. Precipitation Of Nickel−Cobalt Sulfide

    12.1. Reasons for Making a Mixed-Sulfide Precipitate

    12.2. Flowsheet

    12.3. Autoclave Exit Slurry Neutralization

    12.4. Solution Reneutralization

    12.5. Removal of Zinc and Copper From Solution by Sulfide Precipitation

    12.6. Precipitation of Nickel−Cobalt Sulfide

    12.7. Product Destination

    12.8. Appraisal

    12.9. Summary

    Chapter 13. Extraction of Nickel and Cobalt from Sulfide Ores

    13.1. Nickel Sulfide Ores

    13.2. Extraction of Nickel and Cobalt from Sulfide Ores

    13.3. Hydrometallurgical Alternatives to Matte Smelting

    13.4. Voisey's Bay Process for Leaching Nickel Concentrates

    13.5. Heap Leaching of Nickel Sulfide Ore

    13.6. Summary

    Chapter 14. Production of Nickel Concentrates from Sulfide Ores

    14.1. The Advantages of Grinding and Concentration

    14.2. Crushing and Grinding

    14.3. Comminution Steps

    14.4. Control of Particle Size

    14.5. Recent Developments

    14.6. Summary

    Chapter 15. Production of Nickel Concentrate from Ground Sulfide Ore

    15.1. Need for Concentration

    15.2. Principles of Froth Flotation

    15.3. Flotation Cells

    15.4. Flotation Chemicals

    15.5. Specific Flotation Procedures for Pentlandite Ores

    15.6. Flotation Products

    15.7. Operation and Control

    15.8. Recent Developments

    15.9. Summary

    Chapter 16. Separation of Chalcopyrite from Pentlandite by Flotation

    16.1. Chapter Objectives

    16.2. Separation of Chalcopyrite and Pentlandite

    16.3. Industrial Practice

    16.4. Grinding

    16.5. Summary

    Chapter 17. Smelting of Nickel Sulfide Concentrates by Roasting and Electric Furnace Smelting

    17.1. Principles of Roasting and Smelting

    17.2. Chemistry of Roasting

    17.3. Electric Furnace Smelting

    17.4. Industrial Electric Furnaces

    17.5. Summary

    Chapter 18. Flash Smelting of Nickel Sulfide Concentrates

    18.1. Objective of the Process – Nickel Enrichment

    18.2. Advantages and Disadvantages

    18.3. Extent of Oxidation

    18.4. Chemistry

    18.5. Industrial Flash Smelting

    18.6. Outotec-Type Flash Furnace

    18.7. Inco-Type Flash Furnace

    18.8. Peripheral Equipment

    18.9. Operation and Control of the Flash Furnace

    18.10. Appraisal

    18.11. Recent Trends

    18.12. Summary

    Chapter 19. Converting – Final Oxidation of Iron From Molten Matte

    19.1. Starting and Finishing Compositions

    19.2. Chemistry of Converting

    19.3. Principles of Converting

    19.4. Behavior of Other Metals

    19.5. Choice of Final Iron Content

    19.6. End-Point Determination

    19.7. Capture of Sulfur Dioxide

    19.8. Tuyeres and Oxygen Enrichment

    19.9. Nitrogen-Shrouded Blast Injection

    19.10. Converter Control

    19.11. Alternatives to Peirce-Smith Converting

    19.12. Direct to Low-Iron Matte Flash Smelting

    19.13. Summary

    Chapter 20. Sulfur Dioxide Capture in Sulfuric Acid and Other Products

    20.1. Nickel Extraction Offgases

    20.2. Production of Sulfuric Acid from Roaster and Flash Furnace Offgases

    20.3. Gas Cooling, Cleaning, and Drying

    20.4. Oxidation of Sulfur Dioxide to Sulfur Trioxide

    20.5. Catalyst for the Oxidation of Sulfur Dioxide

    20.6. Making Acid from Sulfur Trioxide

    20.7. Double-Contact Acid-Making

    20.8. Acid Plant Products

    20.9. Environmental Performance of the Nickel Industry

    20.10. Making Sulfuric Acid for the Leaching of Nickel Laterite

    20.11. Summary

    Chapter 21. Slow Cooling and Solidification of Converter Matte

    21.1. Solidification and Slow Cooling Process

    21.2. Industrial Matte Casting, Solidification and Slow Cooling

    21.3. Concentrate Destinations

    21.4. Summary

    Chapter 22. Carbonyl Refining of Impure Nickel Metal

    22.1. Chemistry of the Process

    22.2. Industrial Ambient Pressure Carbonylation

    22.3. Decomposition of Nickel Carbonyl

    22.4. High-Pressure Carbonyl Refining

    22.5. Appraisal

    22.6. Summary

    Chapter 23. Hydrometallurgical Production of High-Purity Nickel and Cobalt

    23.1. Refining of Sulfide Precipitates from Laterite Leaching Operations

    23.2. Refining of Nickel Mattes from Smelting Operations

    23.3. Appraisal

    23.4. Summary

    Chapter 24. Leaching of Nickel Sulfide Mattes and Precipitates

    24.1. Chlorine Leaching

    24.2. Oxygen–Ammonia Leaching

    24.3. Leaching by Sulfuric Acid Solutions using Oxygen

    24.4. Appraisal

    24.5. Summary

    Chapter 25. Separation of Nickel and Cobalt by Solvent Extraction

    25.1. Chapter Objectives

    25.2. Principles of Solvent Extraction

    25.3. Chloride Solvent Extraction

    25.4. Solvent Extraction in Sulfate Solutions

    25.5. Solvent Extraction in Ammoniacal Solutions

    25.6. Solvent Extraction in Sulfate and Chloride Solutions

    25.7. Diluents

    25.8. Washing and Scrubbing the Organic

    25.9. Impurity Removal

    25.10. Appraisal

    25.11. Summary

    Chapter 26. Electrowinning of Nickel from Purified Nickel Solutions

    26.1. Objectives of this Chapter

    26.2. Electrowinning Nickel from Chloride Electrolyte

    26.3. Electrowinning Nickel from Sulfate Solutions

    26.4. New Developments in Nickel Electrowinning

    26.5. Other Electrolytic Nickel Processes

    26.6. Appraisal

    26.7. Summary

    Chapter 27. Hydrogen Reduction of Nickel from Ammoniacal Sulfate Solutions

    27.1. Process Chemistry

    27.2. Industrial Applications

    27.3. Industrial Production of Nickel Powder

    27.4. Appraisal

    27.5. Summary

    Chapter 28. Cobalt – Occurrence, Production, Use and Price

    28.1. Occurrence and Extraction

    28.2. Recycling of Cobalt

    28.3. Uses of Cobalt

    28.4. Global Mine Production

    28.5. Price

    28.6. Summary

    Chapter 29. Extraction of Cobalt from Nickel Laterite and Sulfide Ores

    29.1. Cobalt Extraction from Nickel Laterite Ore

    29.2. Refining of Cobalt

    29.3. Extraction of Cobalt from Nickel Sulfide Ores

    29.4. Summary

    Chapter 30. Production of Cobalt from the Copper–Cobalt Ores of the Central African Copperbelt

    30.1. Typical Ore Deposit

    30.2. Mining

    30.3. Extraction of Cobalt and Copper from Weathered Ore

    30.4. Exploiting the Cobalt–Copper Sulfide Ore Layer

    30.5. Summary

    Chapter 31. Platinum-Group Metals, Production, Use and Extraction Costs

    31.1. Uses of the Platinum-Group Elements

    31.2. Mining of Platinum-Group Elements

    31.3. Extraction of Platinum-Group Metals

    31.4. Prices

    31.5. Costs of Extraction of Platinum-Group Metals

    31.6. Summary

    Chapter 32. Overview of the Extraction of Platinum-Group Metals

    Chapter 33. Production of Flotation Concentrates Containing Platinum-Group Metals

    33.1. Ores and Concentrates

    33.2. Ores Containing Platinum-Group Metals

    33.3. South African Ores Containing Platinum-Group Metals

    33.4. Production of Flotation Concentrate from The Merensky Reef

    33.5. UG2 Ores and the Problem of Chromite

    33.6. Flotation Reagents and Conditions

    33.7. Improving Recovery of Platinum-Group Elements to Concentrate

    33.8. Gravity Separation

    33.9. Recent Developments

    33.10. Summary

    Chapter 34. Extraction of Platinum-Group Metals from Russian Ores

    34.1. Nickel Copper and Platinum Ores from Norilsk-Talnakh

    34.2. Russian Production

    34.3. Recent Developments

    34.4. Summary

    Chapter 35. Smelting and Converting of Sulfide Concentrates Containing Platinum-Group Metals

    35.1. Major Process Steps

    35.2. Concentrate Drying

    35.3. Smelting the Concentrates

    35.4. Converting the Furnace Matte

    35.5. Recent Developments in Smelting and Converting in The Platinum Industry

    35.6. Summary

    Chapter 36. Separation of the Platinum-Group Metals from Base Metal Sulfides, and the Refining of Nickel, Copper and Cobalt

    36.1. Overview of the Refining of the Platinum-Group Metals

    36.2. Objectives of This Chapter

    36.3. Base Metal Refineries Where Nickel is Produced as Nickel Sulfate

    36.4. Base Metal Refineries Where Nickel is Produced as Powder by Hydrogen Reduction

    36.5. Base Metals Refinery Where Nickel is Produced as Nickel Cathode

    36.6. Appraisal

    36.7. Summary

    Chapter 37. Refining of the Platinum-Group Metals

    37.1. Objectives of this Chapter

    37.2. Concentrate Composition

    37.3. Separation Techniques Used in the Refining of the Platinum-Group Metals

    37.4. Refining Efficiency

    37.5. Classification of Refining Processes

    37.6. Lonmin's Western Platinum Refinery

    37.7. Krastsvetmet's Refinery at Krasnoyarsk

    37.8. Appraisal of the Precipitation Processes

    37.9. The Johnson Matthey/Anglo American Platinum Process

    37.10. The Acton Refinery Process

    37.11. Appraisal of the Solvent-Extraction Processes

    37.12. Impala Platinum's Ion-Exchange Process

    37.13. Appraisal of the Ion-Exchange Processes

    37.14. Summary

    Chapter 38. Recycling of Nickel, Cobalt and Platinum-Group Metals

    38.1. Recycling of Platinum-Group Metals from Automobile Catalyst

    38.2. Recycling of Nickel in Stainless Steel

    38.3. Recycling of Cobalt

    38.4. Summary

    Appendix A. Ferronickel Smelting of Non-Tropical Laterite Ores

    Appendix B. Caron Process for Processing Nickel Laterites

    Appendix C. Flash Cooling of Autoclaves

    Appendix D. Counter-Current Decantation of Leaching Slurries

    Appendix E. Recovering Nickel-, Copper-, Cobalt- and Platinum-Group Elements from Slags

    Appendix F. Electrorefining of High-Purity Nickel from Cast Impure Ni Alloy and Ni Matte Anodes

    Appendix G. Top Blown Rotary Converter

    Appendix H. Nickel Carbonylation Free Energies and Equilibrium Constants


Product details

  • No. of pages: 622
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2011
  • Published: July 18, 2011
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080968100
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780080974781

About the Authors

Frank Crundwell

Editorial board of the journal “Hydrometallurgy” and been an assistant editor.

I lectured hydrometallurgy for ten years while at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

I have numerous publications in the fields that make up hydrometallurgy - leaching, electrometallurgy, electrochemistry, bacterial leaching.

I have worked in the field for nearly thirty years. I have run a professional consultancy working in the field of hydrometallurgy for the last ten years.

Affiliations and Expertise

Director, CM Solutions, Parklands, South Africa

Michael Moats

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Utah, UT, USA

Venkoba Ramachandran

Affiliations and Expertise

Ram consultants, AZ, USA

Tim Robinson

Affiliations and Expertise

Freeport-McMoRan Mining Company

W. G. Davenport

Professor William George Davenport is a graduate of the University of British Columbia and the Royal School of Mines, London. Prior to his academic career he worked with the Linde Division of Union Carbide in Tonawanda, New York. He spent a combined 43 years of teaching at McGill University and the University of Arizona.

His Union Carbide days are recounted in the book Iron Blast Furnace, Analysis, Control and Optimization (English, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Spanish editions).

During the early years of his academic career he spent his summers working in many of Noranda Mines Company’s metallurgical plants, which led quickly to the book Extractive Metallurgy of Copper. This book has gone into five English language editions (with several printings) and Chinese, Farsi and Spanish language editions.

He also had the good fortune to work in Phelps Dodge’s Playas flash smelter soon after coming to the University of Arizona. This experience contributed to the book Flash Smelting, with two English language editions and a Russian language edition and eventually to the book Sulfuric Acid Manufacture (2006), 2nd edition 2013.

In 2013 co-authored Extractive Metallurgy of Nickel, Cobalt and Platinum Group Metals, which took him to all the continents except Antarctica.

He and four co-authors are just finishing up the book Rare Earths: Science, Technology, Production and Use, which has taken him around the United States, Canada and France, visiting rare earth mines, smelters, manufacturing plants, laboratories and recycling facilities.

Professor Davenport’s teaching has centered on ferrous and non-ferrous extractive metallurgy. He has visited (and continues to visit) about 10 metallurgical plants per year around the world to determine the relationships between theory and industrial practice. He has also taught plant design and economics throughout his career and has found this aspect of his work particularly rewarding. The delight of his life at the university has, however, always been academic advising of students on a one-on-one basis.

Professor Davenport is a Fellow (and life member) of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum and a twenty-five year member of the (U.S.) Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. He is recipient of the CIM Alcan Award, the TMS Extractive Metallurgy Lecture Award, the AusIMM Sir George Fisher Award, the AIME Mineral Industry Education Award, the American Mining Hall of Fame Medal of Merit and the SME Milton E. Wadsworth award. In September 2014 he will be honored by the Conference of Metallurgists’ Bill Davenport Honorary Symposium in Vancouver, British Columbia (his home town).

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Arizona, AZ, USA

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  • Saikat S. Mon May 14 2018

    A gem of a book

    One of the best books on the subject. Goes into technical detail but sticks to simple language, doesn’t get lost in excessive technical nomenclature.