Introduction to the stirred milling of nickel laterites for upgrading nickel

CIM Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2015, pages 15-26

L. Tong and B. Klein
Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

M. Zanin, W. Skinner, K. Quast, and J. Addai-Mensah
Ian Wark Research Institute, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

D. Robinson
Minerals Down Under National Research Flagship, CSIRO Process Science and Engineering, Waterford, Western Australia, Australia

http://dx.doi.org/10.15834/cimj.2015.3
Abstract The stirred milling of nickel laterites offers possibilities for improving liberation and selective size reduction of soft nickel-bearing minerals in laterites. Batch grinding tests were performed in a netzsch™ lME4 stirred mill on siliceous goethitic, goethitic, and saprolitic nickel laterites. Tests on the −2,000 μm sample displayed the effects of selective comminution. The −38 μm product of grinding the −2,000/+38 μm feed confirmed the effects of selective grinding and nickel upgrading. Size classification followed by stirred milling is recommended for nickel upgrading. The energy requirement in the stirred milling was also investigated.nature frequently result in specifications that can be made simpler, more economical, and better focused on the project’s goals. This paper surveys current specification writing practices and proposes an improved approach recognizing that product design, procurement, manufacturing, and quality are interrelated in a successful project. The lessons learned here can apply to all types of machinery specifications.
Keywords: Comminution, Grinding, Mineral processing, Nickel laterite
Résumé Le broyage par billes de latérites comportant du nickel offre des possibilités d’amélioration de la libération et de la réduction sélective de la taille des minéraux nickélifères tendres dans les latérites. Des essais de broyage en vrac ont été effectués dans un broyeur à billes netzschMD lME4 sur des latérites nickélifères à goethite siliceuse, à goethite et saprolitiques. Des essais sur l’échantillon −2000 μm présentaient des effets d’une comminution sélective. le produit −38 μm de l’alimentation −2000/+38 μm confirme les effets d’un broyage sélectif et du rehaussement de la teneur en nickel. Pour améliorer la teneur en nickel, il est recommandé de classifier le minerai en fonction de sa granulométrie, puis d’effectuer un broyage à billes. l’énergie requise pour le broyage à billes a aussi été étudié.
Mots-Clé Broyage, comminution, latérite nickélifère, traitement des minerais
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