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Processing Technology vs Nickel Laterite Ore Characteristic Agus Superiadi PT Inco.Tbk.

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Presentation on theme: "Processing Technology vs Nickel Laterite Ore Characteristic Agus Superiadi PT Inco.Tbk."— Presentation transcript:

1 Processing Technology vs Nickel Laterite Ore Characteristic Agus Superiadi PT Inco.Tbk

2 Presentation Outlines Types of Nickel Deposit World Nickel Mineral Resources Nickel Laterite Development Processing Technology of Nickel Laterite Processing vs Ni Laterite Ore Characteristic Summary

3 Types of Nickel Deposits Sulphide nickel deposits –Nickel as nickel sulphide  pentlandite, millerite –Nickel ores processed through milling and smelting Laterite nickel deposits –Oxide Ni deposits: Ni as hydroxide in the ferruginous zone –Clay silicate deposits: Ni as clay silicate –Hydrous silicate deposits: Ni as hydrous-silicate in saprolite –Nickel ores processed through pyro-metallurgy (smelting) or hydro-metallurgy (leaching)




7 World Nickel Laterite Deposits Cuba Dominican Republic Brazil Columbia Guatemala Albania Greece Philippines Indonesia PNG New Caledonia Australia Venezuela Burma India Madagascar Producing Countries Non Producing Countries Ivory Coast Zimbabwe Ethiopia Burundi

8 World Nickel Laterite Resources (Distribution by Contained Nickel) Caribbean 25% New Caledonia 20% Indonesia 16% Philippines 11% Australia 8% Africa 8% America 8% Other 4%

9 DEFINITION OF LATERITES Nickel laterites are: –Residual soils –Have developed over mafic/ultramafic rocks –Through processes of chemical weathering and supergene enrichment –Under tropical climatic conditions Laterites are source of metals: –Ni, Co, Cr, Fe (from laterites derived from ultramafic rocks) –Al (from laterites derived from aluminous rocks)

10 Laterisation

11 LATERITE PROFILE On Unserpentinised Peridotite, Sorowako Red Laterite (Hematite) Yellow Laterite (Limonite) Saprolite zone Bedrock pinnacle

12 Considerations for developing a nickel laterite project Nickel grade; cobalt grade Resource tonnage / Life of Mine / scale of operation Ore chemistry and mineralogy Upgradeability of ore Process selection Availability of cheap power supply Selection of fuel Availability of raw materials: water, silica flux, aggregate Availability of infrastructure Location of project Mining method Environmental considerations Negotiations with local and central governments Funding of the project Selection of engineer and contractor

13 PROCESSING OF Ni LATERITES Pyrometallurgical processing (Ore is melted) –Ferro-nickel –Ni-matte –Ni Pig Iron Hydrometallurgical processing (Leaching by acid) –PAL (Pressure acid leaching) – HPAL –AL (Atmospheric Leaching) –Heap Leaching Combined pyro and hydro process (Caron) (Ore is reduced at high temperature, then leached)

14 Ferro-Nickel Projects in the world ProjectOwnerCountryRemarks Cerro Matoso BHP-BColumbia CodeminAngloBrazil DoniamboSLN/Eramet New Caledonia Exmibal Ex. Inco GuatemalaMothballed FalcondoFalconbridge Dominican Rep. Fenimark FENI (govt.) MacedoniaClosed HyugaSumitomoJapan Imported ore LarymnaLarcoGreece Loma de Hiero AngloVenezuela Morro do Niquel AngloBrazilClosed Oheyama Nippon Yakin Japan Imported ore Onca-Puma Vale Inco Brazil PAMCO Nippon Steel Japan Imported ore PomalaaANTAMIndonesia Some imported ore ProjectOwnerCountryRemarksSorowako PT Inco Indonesia DoniamboSLN/Eramet New Caledonia Nickel-Matte Projects of the world

15 HPAL Projects of the world ProjectOwnerCountryRemarks Moa Bay Cuba Niquel Cuba First HPAL BulongAustralia Shut down CawseNorilskAustralia Murrin-MurrinMinaraAustralia Coral Bay SumitomoPhilippines Goro Vale Inco New Caledonia Under construction Ramu River PNG Under construction RavensthorpeBHP-BAustralia ProjectOwnerCountryRemarksNicaro Union del Niq Cuba Punta Gorda Union del Niq Cuba NonocPhilippinesClosed QNIBHP-BillitonAustralia Imported ores Tocantins Niquel Toc. Brazil CARON Projects of the world

16 Heap Leach Projects of the world ProjectOwnerCountryRemarks Caldag European Nickel Turkey First Heap Leach project RavensthorpeBHP-BAustralia Part of flow sheet Murrin-MurrinMinaraAustralia Expansion of project PiauiValeBrazil Being fast-tracked for production

17 PYROMETALLURGICAL PROCESSING Ferro-Nickel Process Upgrading in the mine Drying of ore Upgrading after drying Calcining Electric Furnace Smelting Refining Furnace Ferro-Nickel Product 20 – 50% Ni Nickel-Matte Process Upgrading in the mine Drying of ore Upgrading after drying Calcining Electric Furnace Smelting Converting Nickel-Matte Product 78% Ni

18 PYROMETALLURGY Important concerns: Slag should not attack refractory (S/M ratio) Melting temperature should be suitable (S/M; Fe) Olivine should not be introduced to the furnace Appropriate reduction of ore prior to smelting Ni/Fe ratio in the ore for ferro-nickel operation

19 HYDROMETALLURGICAL PROCESSING HPAL Process Ore Preparation: wetting, screening, crushing, ore beneficiation Pre Heating through flash steam Pressure Acid Leach in autoclave Heat recovery from leached pulp CCD thickening and washing Neutralisation of pregnant solution Precipitation of metals by adding H 2 S/alkali Solid/liquid separation Ni/Co products as mixed sulphides, oxides, hydroxides Heap Leaching Process Ore Preparation: wetting, screening, crushing, ore beneficiation Heap Formation Acid Dripping Pregnant solution Sequential Precipitation of metals Neutralization Ni/Co concentrate

20 HYDROMETALLURGY Important concerns: HPAL Amounts of soluble Mg and Al in ore (acid consumers) Acid to ore ratio required for process Minimum operating temperature required to leach What is the appropriate pressure during leaching Retention time in the autoclave Rheological behaviour during slurrying How to recover metals in the back end of processing What product to make Heap Leaching Clay content Fe content Moisture content Weather

21 Hydro vs Pyro Note: The selection of processing technology must consider: Ore characteristic (Chemistry and Mineralogy) Ni/Co grades (include potential upgrading) Metal recovery Mineability (Ore thickness and continuity) Capital and Operating costs (potential hydro-electric power, Residual Storage Facility, Water source, Limestone source, Existing infrastructure, etc) Market demand

22 Hydro vs Pyro

23 Pyrometallurgy Process Main Feed ElectricityRequire Capital Cost Operating Cost Fe-NiSmeltingSaprolite Very High High Ni Matte SmeltingSaprolite Very High High Ni Pig Iron LimoniteModerateModerate Very High

24 Hydrometallurgy Process Main Feed ElectricityRequire Capital Cost Operating Cost HPALLimoniteLowHighLow CaronSaproliteModerate Very High High Heap Leach Limonite Very Low ModerateLow ChlorideLeachLimoniteSaproliteModerateHighLow

25 SUMMARY Ore Characteristics (chemistry and mineralogy) are very critical in selecting processing technology. HPAL is a preferred technology (if the ore is rich in limonite) because less energy required. Ferronickel and Nickel matte smelter is a good alternative for saprolitic laterite ore with potential hydro electric power. Heap Leach and NPI are attractive since less capital investment required. A Feasibility Study (Geology, Mining, Processing including Metallurgical testworks, Infrastructures, AMDAL, etc) is required to justify the project execution.


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