Pilot-Plant Solvent Extraction Of Cobalt And Nickel For Avmin?s Nkomati Project
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 2002
Avmin have developed a flowsheet for the refining of copper, nickel and cobalt from Nkomati concentrates. Cobalt is recovered from calcium-saturated solution using Cyanex® 272. Nickel is subsequently extracted using versatic acid. The loaded organic is stripped using spent electrolyte, producing advance electrolyte for recovery of nickel by electrowinning. Cobalt was recovered with >99.5% extraction efficiency, reducing cobalt from 1.8 g/l to <10 mg/l. The cobalt/nickel ratio in the cobalt product solution was >1500. Nickel solvent extraction was optimized to recover 99%, reducing the nickel concentration from 32 g/l to <0.3 g/l, while minimizing calcium deportment to the nickel electrowinning circuit.