Archives :: Chementator :: Hydrometallurgy, Minerals

Displaying 1 - 19 of 19 stories.
November 1, 2014
The research group of Masatsugu Morimitsu at Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan; has developed an “evolutionary” electrowinning process for the production of rare and base metals that promises to reduce both the power consumption and environmental burden. The process features a hybrid anode, called MSA (Morimitsu Smart Anode), which is composed of nanoparticle oxides...
October 1, 2014
Reed Resources Ltd. (Perth, Western Australia; has advanced its Barrambie Titanium Project — about 600 km northeast of Perth, Western Australia — with the construction (now in its final stages) of a mini-pilot plant in Canada to demonstrate a transition from laboratory-scale batch testing to continuous operation. Barrambie is one of the world’s highest-grade...
August 1, 2014
Outotec Oyj (Espoo, Finland; has developed a new chloride-based leaching process for recovering nickel from nickel matte — a commercial intermediate product of nickel smelting that contains about 65% of nickel. Developed since the 1980s, originally for Cu recovery and since extended to Ni, Zn and Au, the Outotec Nickel Matte Chloride Leaching process is a more resource-efficient and...
June 1, 2014
Electrochem Technologies & Materials Inc. (Montreal, Canada; has recently patented a process for recovering rare-earth elements (REEs) from mercury phosphor powders — a byproduct from recyclers of fluorescent lamps and light bulbs. This technology offers a sound and profitable alternative for the production of REEs compared to the mining of low-grade ores, which...
December 1, 2013
Low-grade nickel (less than 1.5 wt.%) laterite ores represent about 70% of global reserves but account for only 40% of nickel production. Increasing demand for nickel in recent years has created the need to process such ores. Atmospheric acid leaching of these ores presents difficulties due to the presence of high-acid-consuming serpentinized and clay minerals, leading to pulp gelation and poor mixing, and...
August 1, 2013
CSIRO Minerals Down Under Flagship (Perth, Western Australia; has developed a method that uses hydrotalcite formation to simultaneously remove contaminants from mining and industrial wastewaters in a single step. Current wastewater-treatment processes typically produce lime-based slurries, often with large amounts of water, which requires additional treatment. In contrast, hydrotalcites...
June 1, 2013
A demonstration plant in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, will produce hydrochloric acid and iron pellets from the iron-chloride leach liquor generated by the production of synthetic rutile, the common mineral form of titanium dioxide. The plant will utilize a process called EARS (enhanced acid-regeneration system) developed by Austpac Resources NL (Sydney, Australia; At...
June 1, 2013
Tantalum and niobium, which are often found in complex ores, are essentially chemically inert metals whose recovery involves some harsh measures: typically dissolution of the metals concentrate in a mixture of concentrated hydrofluoric and sulfuric acids, followed by solvent extraction with methyl- iso -butyl-ketone dissolved in kerosene. A process that is said to be safer and greener has been developed...
April 1, 2013
Following a positive feasibility study, American Vanadium Corp. (Vancouver, B.C.; will construct the world’s first sulfuric acid heap-leach mining operation for vanadium at a specific geologic formation in central Nevada, known as Gibellini Hill. The project is currently in the permitting and mine-engineering stage, and...
March 1, 2013
Existing metallurgical processes for titanium production from ilmenite — by far the most sought-after titanium ore — are plagued by disadvantages, mainly the generation of large amounts of waste, and improvements are needed to treat ilmenite for the production of high-grade TiO2 pigment. Now, a group from CSIRO Minerals Down Under National Research Flagship and CSIRO Process Science and...
January 1, 2013
An Indian team from the Institute of Minerals & Materials Technology (, and Utkal University (both Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India; has achieved significant improvement in the recovery of nickel from lateritic ore by using oxalic acid produced by the fungus Aspergillus niger supplemented with manganese. Prior to leaching, thermal pre-treatment (at 600°C for 5 h)...
December 1, 2012
Lithium producer Galaxy Resources Ltd. (Perth, Western Australia; says that lithium carbonate product from its wholly owned Jiangsu Lithium Carbonate Plant has achieved battery grade quality using the company’s patented process (flowsheet). The Jiangsu plant is located in the Yangtze River International Chemical Industrial Park of the Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone in...
November 1, 2012
Extraction of metals, such as lithium, from laterite ores is usually carried out through solubilization of metals by acids, such as sulfuric and hydrochloric acids. However, substantial metal recoveries from laterites have been achieved only through thermal pre-treatment of laterites, using high concentrations of acids at high temperatures.  Microbial processing of laterite ores at ambient conditions...
June 1, 2012
India holds large reserves of low-grade sulfide copper ore containing 0.3 wt.% copper, which cannot be processed through conventional routes since the cut-off grade for treatment in concentrators is about 0.45 wt.%. India is in short supply of copper and an appropriate technology for processing low-grade ores would contribute to India’s economy. Accordingly, a team from the Institute of Minerals...
March 1, 2012
Outotec Oyj (Espoo, Finland; has introduced a new partial roasting process to purify copper and gold concentrates that are contaminated with arsenic, antimony and carbon. The process is a pretreatment stage for Cu- and Au-extraction plants, and enables the extraction of metals from ores that had previously been unattractive because the impurities create a “huge problem” of...
March 1, 2012
A carbothermal process for obtaining magnesium — developed by CSIRO ( Light Metals Flagship (South Clayton, Victoria, Australia) — overcomes previous limitations to commercial viability. For several years, magnesium has been produced mainly by electrolytic routes, from magnesium chloride sources such as seawater and natural brines. More recently, world production has been mainly in...
February 1, 2012
A newly demonstrated system for removing trace levels of heavy metals from water combines the positive traits of two existing technologies — chemical precipitation and electrowinning — while avoiding drawbacks of each. An engineering team at Brown University (Providence, R.I.;, led by Joseph Calo, described the cyclic-electrowinning-precipitation (CEP) process in a recent issue...
November 1, 2011
A facility that produces high-purity lithium carbonate for use in the growing market for electrolytes in electric-vehicle batteries has begun commercial operations in Imperial Valley, Calif. The 500-ton/yr plant, operated by Simbol Materials (Pleasanton, Calif.;, is the only producer of high-purity Li2CO3 in the U.S., and one of three worldwide. “We can produce the...
October 1, 2011
China produces about 98% of the world’s electrolytic manganese metal (EMM), a vital ingredient used in specialty steels, aluminum and electronics. In contrast, the U.S. produces no EMM, says Nick Weir, an executive with U.S. American Manganese Inc. (AMY; White Rock, B.C., Canada; www.american AMY plans to change that by using a patented hydrometallurgical process to extract the...

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