Review of present cobalt recovery practice

Moskalyk, R. R. ; Alfantazi, A. M.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Over the years, improvements have been made in the recovery of nonferrous metals, including improvements in the areas of mineral processing, pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy to extract cobalt as a byproduct from host minerals containing mainly nickel, copper and associated precious metals. At present, the technological emphasis is on solvent extraction coupled with electrowinning (SX-EW) for lateritic sources of supply within the Southern Hemisphere, such as in Australia and New Caledonia. Although sulfide-bearing ores, such as those found in Canada and Russia, will serve as a viable long-term source for cobalt, a ubiquitous metal, the future trend is anticipated to be in the implementation of compact and efficient SX-EW facilities that apply state-of-the -art innovation with environmental compliance This paper serves to collate the known practices for the recovery of market-grade cobalt by means of electrowinning from either an aqueous sulfate medium or chloride medium after upstream leaching, solvent-extraction and solution-purification procedures. For completeness, other commercial production techniques for the recovery of cobalt as a sulfide or oxide product are included in the summary of current cobalt processing practices.
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