Volume 28, Issue 6 (November 2005)
Geotechnical Characterization and Sedimentation Behavior of Laterite Slurries
Laterites are the main source of economic metals such as nickel and cobalt. In many parts of the globe, these metals are extracted using the pressure acid leach operation. An efficient rate of sedimentation and a high solids content of the material are two prerequisites for this process. To understand the geotechnical behavior of laterite slurries under ambient process conditions, a comprehensive laboratory characterization and sedmentation protocol was developed. Results indicate that due to changes in material characteristics, sedimentation behavior of laterite slurries is improved during the metal extraction process. The rate and concentration of sedimentation are directly related for this class of materials.