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Ni from South Pacific

By Chemical Engineering |

Lanxess (Leverkusen, Germany; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6900-543) has won a large contract to supply ion-exchange resins to Goro Nickel S.A.S. (Noumé, New Caldedonia), which will use the resins in future mining operations. Goro Nickel will start Ni production at the mine in 2009. The deposit of around 120-million tons of ores at the Goro plateau is sufficient to supply the 60,000-ton/yr production plant for the next 30 years. Ores will be removed in 10-m wide terraces by heavy excavators, then pumped to the factory and treated with acid at high temperature and pressure to recover the metals. After several purification stages, the separated Ni and Co are prepared for transport. Lanxess’ ion-exchange resins will be used to separate other metals, such as copper, from Ni. The project represents a new application for the resins.
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