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ArticleName Behaviour of SiO2 during a new process applied to nickel concentrate from matte separation at Kola MMC
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2021.12.02
ArticleAuthor Ryabushkin M. I., Pakhomov R. A., Tsymbulov L. B., Savinova Yu. A.

Kola MMC, Monchegorsk, Russia:

M. I. Ryabushkin, First Deputy General Director – Chief Engineer, e-mail:


Gipronikel Institute LLC, Saint Petersburg, Russia:
R. A. Pakhomov, Senior Researcher at the Pyrometallurgy Laboratory, Candidate of Technical Sciences, e-mail:
L. B. Tsymbulov, Director of the Research and Development Department, Doctor of Technical Sciences
Yu. A. Savinova, Senior Researcher at the Pyrometallurgy Laboratory, Candidate of Technical Sciences


Kola MMC has built a new nickel site that relies on chlorine leaching of nickel powder followed by electrowinning of nickel with insoluble anodes. After the new site had been commissioned, the operations of the refining facility saw changes, the electric anode furnaces were taken out of service, and a magnetic separation section was commissioned. The latter helps remove unreacted coal, metal oxides and other non-magnetic components from the tube kiln nickel powder thus ensuring its optimized quality. At the same time, once the electric furnaces had been removed from the process, it created the need for strict control over carbon and slag-forming constituent concentration in the nickel powder that goes to the chlorine leaching section. This paper looks at the history of the process behind the production of roasted nickel – the product of fluidized-bed furnaces – and describes the revamping stages witnessed by the Kola MMC site. The paper also analyzes certain features related to the current processing of nickel concentrates – from nickel matte separation to the production of nickel metal powder. The latter is further sent for chlorine leaching and in the presence of chlorine gas it gets dissolved. Then copper, iron, zinc and cobalt are removed from the resultant liquor and the purified sulphate-chloride solution goes in the electrolysis cells where high-purity nickel cathodes are produced. The authors analyzed the compositions of the key components in the studied materials of the nickel processing line. Special attention is given to the behaviour of silicon dioxide as one of the impurities causing most problems in the new process.

keywords Reduction, nickel powder, Kola Mining and Metallurgical Company, tube kilns, magnetic separation, fluidized-bed furnaces

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