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Changsha, China

Qin W.,Central South University | Ji X.,Central South University | Zhen S.,Central South University | Zhen S.,Jinchuan Group Ltd JNMC
XXV International Mineral Processing Congress 2010, IMPC 2010 | Year: 2010

Yellow Mountain Deposit belonging to GobiMin Inc is located in the Chinese Tianshan and Altay orogenic belts, Hami, Xinjiang Province, NW China. Indicated Mineral Resources of its reserve are estimated at 12 million tonnes averaging 0.40 per cent nickel. Mineralogical examination and chemical analysis indicated that the Yellow Mountain ore is a type of high Fe, low Mg and low Ni sulfi de ore: the main sulfi de minerals are ~8.0 per cent pyrrhotite (Fe1-xS), ~1.0 per cent pentlandite ((Fe, Ni)9S8), ~0.6 per cent chalcopyrite (CuFeS2), ~0.5 per cent pyrite (FeS2), and ~0.2 per cent violarite((Fe, Ni)3S4); the main gangue minerals are ~48 per cent olivine, ~28 per cent antigorite, ~3 per cent chlorite, ~2 per cent talc, ~2 per cent tremolite, and~1.5 per cent magnetite; the chemical analysis of the ore sample are Ni 0.40 per cent, Co 0.016 per cent, Cu 0.24 per cent, Fe 12.4 per cent, S 5.6 per cent, MgO 9.6 per cent, CaO 1.80 per cent, SiO2 48.5 per cent and Al2O3 10.3 per cent. Preliminary results of the shake fl ask test showed that pyrrhotite is easily leached and the high concentration of ferric iron would hamper the growth of bacteria which will bring a negative impact on the bioleaching conversely. This work aims to set up a method to prevent the negative impact of the ferric ion on the bioleaching of the ore. Two method were combined to prevent the negative impact of the ferric ion, they are adaptation of the mixed bacteria to iron ion and bleeding the off-solution periodically to control the levels of iron ion (depending on the tolerance of the microorganisms to the ferric ion) in the leaching solution. Using a mixed mesophiles composed of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Leptospirillum ferrooxidans under room temperature, a nickel recovery of 93 per cent and a cobalt recovery of 85 per cent were achieved in 280 days column bioleaching process with an average nickel concentration in the leaching solution of 2.6 g/L. The results showed that the negative effect of the ferric ion can be successfully controlled and the nickel can be bioleached successfully from theYellow Mountain ore. Source

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