Trace element distributions between matte and slag in direct nickel matte smelting

Dmitry Sukhomlinov, Lassi Klemettinen, Olii Virtanen, Yann Lahaye, Petri Latostenmaa, Ari Jokilaakso, Pekka Taskinen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Behaviour of trace elements in the nickel matte smelting was studied at 1673 K (1400 degrees C) by equilibration-quenching techniques followed by direct phase analyses using electron probe X-ray microanalysis and laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The matte-slag samples at silica saturation were equilibrated with SO2-CO-CO2-Ar mixtures of fixed p(SO2), p(S2) and p(O2) in order to obtain a pre-determined oxidation degree for the sulphide matte, and thus to generate a targeted iron concentration of the nickel-copper-iron sulphide matte (Ni:Cu = 5, w/w), depending on the slag chemistry. The slag composition was varied from 0 to 2 wt-% K2O and 0-10 wt-% MgO in silica saturation. The studied trace elements were Co, Ge, Pb, Se and Sn, but also the matte-to-slag distributions of the slag forming fluxing components Mg (MgO) and Si (SiO2) were determined experimentally. Selenium was the only trace element studied which strongly enriched in the low-iron nickel mattes, and the deportment became larger when the sulphide matte depleted with iron. All the other trace elements behaved in the opposite way.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalCanadian Metallurgical Quarterly
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Nickel
  • iron silicate slag
  • phase diagram
  • MgO
  • K2O
  • HIGH PARTIAL PRESSURES
  • SILICATE BASE SLAG
  • HENRIAN ACTIVITY-COEFFICIENT
  • COPPER-IRON MATTE
  • NI-S MELT
  • PHASE-EQUILIBRIUM
  • MINOR ELEMENTS
  • MODEL DEVELOPMENT
  • 1573 K
  • CU

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