Two-stage reduction for the preparation of ferronickel alloy from nickel laterite ore with low Co and high MgO contents

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The preparation of ferronickel alloy from the nickel laterite ore with low Co and high MgO contents was studied by using a pre-reduction–smelting method. The effects of reduction time, calcination temperature, quantity of reductant and calcium oxide (CaO), and pellet diameter on the reduction ratio of Fe and on the pellet strength were investigated. The results show that, for a roasting temperature >800 °C, a roasting time >30 min, 1.5wt% added anthracite coal, 5wt% added CaO, and a pellet size of ~10 mm, the reduction ratio of Fe exceeds 70% and the compressive strength of the pellets exceeds 10 kg per pellet. Reduction smelting experiments were performed by varying the smelting time, temperature, quantity of reductant and CaO, and reduction ratio of Fe in the pellets. Optimal conditions for the reduction smelting process are as follows: smelting time, 30–45 min; smelting temperature, 1550°C; quantity of reductant, 4wt%–5wt%; and quantity of CaO, 5wt%; leading to an Fe reduction ratio of 75% in the pellets. In addition, the mineral composition of the raw ore and that during the reduction process were investigated by process mineralogy.


pre-reduction smelting ferronickel alloy nickel laterite ore 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. U1302274 and 51274044).


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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yong-qiang Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hong-liang Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cheng-yan Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Metallurgical and Ecological EngineeringUniversity of Science and Technology BeijingBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Lab of Rare & Precious Metals Green Recycling and ExtractionBeijingChina

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