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Heap leaching targets nickel from laterite

By Paul Grad |

The NiWest Nickel Laterite Project located at Murrin Murrin in the North Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia, has the potential to become a significant long-term, low-cost nickel producer through the development of heap leaching. The project is 100% owned by GME Resources Ltd. (Fremantle; www.gmeresources.com.au) through its subsidiary NiWest Ltd. Total metal content of more than 1,000,000 metric tons of nickel has been defined by extensive drilling programs. While most laterites have a high iron content of about 40%, Murrin Murrin has an iron content of about 18%. The project will be a heap leaching operation combined with a processing plant utilizing direct solvent extraction and electrowinning to upgrade purified nickel solutions from the heap leach to produce LME (London Metal Exchange) nickel cathode. GME Resources has also developed and patented a regeneration and laterite-agglomeration technology that will enable all ore types to become heap leachable. Multistage leaching of the ore will produce LME cathode nickel as well as a cobalt carbonate precipitate after being exposed to acid regeneration, the removal of iron, neutralization and solvent extraction before finishing up with electrowinning. The heap-leach solution…
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