Iron control in atmospheric acid laterite leaching

Ville Miettinen (Corresponding Author), Jarno Mäkinen, Eero Kolehmainen, Tero Kravtsov, Lotta Rintala

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Iron control in the atmospheric acid leaching (AL) of nickel laterite was evaluated in this study. The aim was to decrease acid consumption and iron dissolution by iron precipitation during nickel leaching. The combined acid leaching and iron precipitation process involves direct acid leaching of the limonite type of laterite followed by a simultaneous iron precipitation and nickel leaching step. Iron precipitation as jarosite is carried out by using nickel containing silicate laterite for neutralization. Acid is generated in the jarosite precipitation reaction, and it dissolves nickel and other metals like magnesium from the silicate laterite. Leaching tests were carried out using three laterite samples from the Agios Ioannis, Evia Island, and Kastoria mines in Greece. Relatively low acid consumption was achieved during the combined precipitation and acid leaching tests. The acid consumption was approximately 0.4 kg acid per kg laterite, whereas the acid consumption in direct acid leaching of the same laterite samples was approximately 0.6-0.8 kg acid per kg laterite. Iron dissolution was only 1.5-3% during the combined precipitation and acid leaching tests, whereas in direct acid leaching it was 15-30% with the Agios Ioannis and Evia Island samples and 80% with the Kastoria sample.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number404
    Number of pages13
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    Funding: The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the European Commission in the frame of the Horizon 2020 project intitled “Metal recovery from low-grade ores and wastes”,, Grant Agreement No. 690088.


    • Jarosite
    • Laterite
    • Leaching
    • Nickel
    • Precipitation


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