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ArticleName Modern processing techniques for copper-nickel sulphide concentrates: A review
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2020.01.04
ArticleAuthor Tsemekhman L. Sh., Paretskiy V. M.

L. Sh. Tsemekhman, Member of the Editorial Board at Tsvetnye Metally, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, e-mail:


Ural Protsess Inzhiniring Kompaniya LLC, Ekaterinburg, Russia:
V. M. Paretskiy, Visiting Professor, Doctor of Technical Sciences


Conventional processing of copper-nickel ores involves concentration and flotation resulting in the production of copper-nickel sulphide concentrate, which is then subjected to hydro- or pyrometallurgical processes. At the same time, hydrometallurgical processes failed to find a wide application. This paper considers various pyrometallurgical processes employed by producers in Canada, USA, Australia, China, South Africa and Russia. The authors analyse the processes of electric smelting of raw, briquetted and roasted concentrates with further electric smelting of the resultant products versus autogenous smelting of concentrates. A variety of autogenous processes are examined. According to the authors’ observations, the most advanced process for coppernickel concentrates at the moment includes smelting in a dual-zone Vanyukov furnace, which produces a high-grade matte with the iron concentration of 6–8%, a low-grade waste slag and a single stream of high-sulphur gas. The matte then goes to the hydrometallurgical circuit. This technology saves the need for converter processes or moving smelts in ladles and does not produce low-grade sulphur-containing gases.

keywords Сopper-nickel concentrates, oxidizing roasting, electric smelting, autogenous smelting, matte, slag, sulphur-containing gases

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