In 1965, the All-Union Scientific Research Mining and Metallurgical Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals (USRMMI, Ust-Kamenogorsk) conducted laboratory studies of the technology for processing silicate nickel ores of the field. Taking into account the physical and chemical properties of nickel ore and the world practice of its processing, four technological schemes were tested:
Electric smelting to ferronickel
Electric smelting to matte
Sulfuric acid leaching (hydrometallurgical)
Ammonium carbonate leaching
Possible options for processing silicate nickel ores of the field by electric smelting to ferronickel, electric smelting to matte, and combined sulfuric acid and ammonium carbonate leaching methods were studied on a laboratory and enlarged-laboratory scale.
The analysis of the studied options showed that the method of smelting ore to ferronickel is more rational than pyrometallurgical method, and combined sulfuric acid leaching is more rational than hydrometallurgical method.