Common Nickel Ore Beneficiation Methods

By: FTM MachineryFebruary 22nd,2021

Nickel is an indispensable metal element in the world. It is a necessary raw material for military manufacturing, machinery manufacturing, atomic energy industry, ultrasonic industry and communications. The chemical symbol of nickel is Ni, with an atomic weight of 58.69, which is iron-friendly, and its content is second only to silicon, oxygen, iron, and magnesium, ranking fifth.

There are many types of nickel ore. According to the mineral properties, they are mainly divided into copper sulfide nickel ore and copper oxide nickel ore. Copper is the main impurity mineral in nickel ore, followed by lead, zinc, arsenic, fluorine, manganese, antimony, and bismuth, chrome, etc. In the process of beneficiation, copper-nickel sulfide ore beneficiation and copper oxide are also mainly used. Let us briefly introduce these two types of beneficiation methods!

1. Beneficiation method of copper-nickel sulfide ore

The ore types of copper-nickel sulfide ore are mainly magmatic dissociation copper-nickel ore. When the nickel content is more than 3%, it is a rich ore that can be smelted directly, and when the nickel content is less than 3%, beneficiation is required. When the content of nickel ore is less than 3%, it is mainly accompanied by a large amount of metal minerals and gangue minerals.

Copper in copper-nickel sulfide ore mainly exists in the form of chalcopyrite. Nickel mainly exists in the form of free nickel sulfide such as pentlandite, millerite, violarite. In addition, most of the nickel occurs in pyrrhotite in a similar manner. Therefore, flotation method is commonly used for copper and nickel sulfide ore, and the methods are as follows:

1.1 Direct (or partial) priority flotation method

Direct or partial preferential flotation is to select copper ore into a single concentrate, which is mostly used in the case of high copper content.

The main feature of this method is that it can directly obtain copper concentrate with low nickel content.

1.2 Mixed flotation method

The mixed flotation method mainly mixes flotation of copper and nickel from the ore, and then separates the low-nickel-containing copper concentrate and the copper-containing nickel concentrate from the mixed concentrate. The obtained copper-containing nickel concentrate can be directly smelted into nickel matte, and then the nickel matte is subjected to flotation separation.

This method is mainly suitable for selecting copper-nickel ore with low copper content.

1.3 Mixed priority flotation method

Mixed and preferred flotation method, the process flow of recovering part of nickel from mixed flotation tailings after copper and nickel mixed flotation.

The mixed optimization flotation method is mainly used under the conditions of relatively large differences in the floatability of various nickel minerals in the ore.

Note: When choosing a flotation method for copper-nickel sulfide ore, there is a basic principle, that is, it is better to allow copper to enter the nickel concentrate than to let the nickel be lost in the process of copper selection, because the nickel in the copper concentrate is being refined The loss in the process is relatively large, and the copper in the nickel concentrate smelting can continue to be recovered.

2. Beneficiation method of nickel oxide ore

At present, the development and utilization of nickel oxide is mainly based on nickel laterite ore. The main reason is that in oxidized ore, nickel is often dispersed in gangue minerals in the same way. The coarse particles are relatively fine. It is difficult to obtain nickel concentrate directly through mechanical beneficiation. Therefore, it is necessary to use crushing, screening and other processes to remove in advance the large base rock ore with weak weathering and low nickel content.

The burial of nickel oxide deposits is relatively shallow, which is very suitable for large-scale open-pit mining and can be selectively mined. After mining, the nickel oxide is smelted and enriched by two main methods: fire smelting and wet smelting.

The above are the commonly used methods for nickel ore beneficiation. As for which method is ultimately selected, you need to find a professional beneficiation manufacturer to analyze the mineral properties, and after professional analysis, customize the process flow that meets the actual situation.

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