AN INTRODUCTION ON STIRRED MILLING OF NICKEL LATERITES TO UPGRADE NICKEL

World Mining Congress
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 (SG), goethitic (G), and saprolitic (SAP) nickel laterite samples (- 2000 m particle size) to evaluate the effect of stirrer speed, solid content, water salinity and grinding time. A fine mineral product (-38 μm) was used to evaluate the effect of selective grinding and Ni upgrade. The optimum grinding time for the highest Ni upgrade was 0.25 min, 0.1 min and 0.1 min for the SG, G, and SAP nickel laterite, respectively. A new feed (38-2000 μm) for each nickel laterite sample was prepared for batch grinding tests under the optimum grinding conditions. Upon grinding the 38-2000 μm feed, the - 38 μm product confirmed the effect of selective grinding and nickel upgrade. Size classification followed by stirred milling is a suggested process for Ni upgrade. The best Ni upgrade result was achieved on the SG nickel laterite among the three samples.
Keywords: Grinding; Nickel laterite; minerals; mineral; minerals; Grade; test; Tests; Breakage;
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