Saprolitic ores from Sulawesi Island (SS ore) contain serpentine and goethite as major minerals, whereas the main minerals in saprolitic ore from Halmahera Island (SH ore) are talc and goethite. Most of the nickel was incorporated in a magnesium-silica-containing mineral. The effects on nickel extraction of leaching temperature, citric acid concentration, and ore particle size were determined to investigate the leaching performances and leaching kinetics of the two saprolitic ores. Nickel leaching efficiency from SS ore is always higher than that from SH ore under the same leaching conditions. The mineral contents of the ores significantly affected the leaching performances and mineral dissolution behaviors of the samples. The results of nickel leaching efficiency and analysis of the solid residues suggest that all dissolved nickel originated from serpentine, which is more easily leached than goethite and talc. The rate of nickel extraction for SS ore was faster than that for SH ore. Nickel leaching from SS ore and SH ore followed the shrinking-core model and was controlled by diffusion of a reactant or product through the solid product layer.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry