Equilibrium fluxing chemistry and metal value distributions of nickel matte smelting in the one-step direct nickel matte technology have been determined experimentally at 1350–1450°C in MgO-bearing iron silicate slags at silica saturation. The aim was to approach the detailed smelting chemistry at typical concentrations 2.5–10 wt-% iron in MgO-bearing iron silicate slags at silica saturation by quenching and X-ray microanalysis. The results obtained under controlled P(O2) and P(S2) as well as constant P(SO2) = 0.1 atm show that copper and nickel solubilities in the slag as well as matte-to-slag distributions favour matte when the slag is modified by magnesia. At the same time, along with increasing magnesia content of the slag, its iron activity is affected by the dissolution of MgO in the slag, and iron concentration of the formed nickel matte is lowered considerably, and its sulphur concentration increased at constant oxygen and sulphur pressures of the gas phase.
- Iron silicate