Extractive Metallurgy of Nickel, Cobalt and Platinum Group Metals

1st Edition

Authors: Frank Crundwell Michael Moats Venkoba Ramachandran Timothy Robinson W. G. Davenport
Hardcover ISBN: 9780080968094
eBook ISBN: 9780080968100
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 5th August 2011
Page Count: 622
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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



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. Phospho


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About the Author

Frank Crundwell

I have been on the 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

Dr. Frank K. Crundwell 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

Timothy 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 univer

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Arizona, AZ, USA


"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