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Examination of Effluents Generated From Processing Domestic Laterites
  • Published Date:
    1/1/1983
Filetype[PDF - 949.10 KB]


Details:
  • Description:
    The Bureau of Mines process for recovering Ni and Co from low-grade domestic laterites uses a reduction roast followed by an ammonia, ammo-nium sulfate leach. This investigation examined the waste streams of the process for their potential environmental impact and focused on the laterite residue produced. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's extraction procedure (EP) toxicity tests and column leaching showed that leachable metal concentrations would be low enough so that the residue would not be considered a hazardous waste under present definitions. Under nonacid leaching conditions, about the same amount of metal was extracted from laterites as from their residues, and the leachates were similar to water samples from an undisturbed laterite deposit. Washing tests on the laterite residue showed that ammonia and ammonium sulfate concentrations were reduced according to equilibrium stage calculations, resulting in residues that would be acceptable for revegetation. With water washing only, the residue would not be considered a hazardous waste even though significant amounts of Ni and Co were absorbed from entrained leach solution onto the residue. Washing first with fresh leach solution and then with water prevented this absorption and thus improved the overall metal recovery.

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