HUGH Morgan, owner of Comet Minerals, has announced a new process which could be used to extract the company’s nickel deposits in Nigeria.
The nickel at the company’s Titan project in Nigeria is contained within small clusters of balls of almost pure nickel. Comet Minerals announced the nickel find in 2016, but was met with some scepticism at the time, according to The Australian. The balls of nickel cannot be processed via conventional methods because they are too fine to extract physically and their buoyancy means they float away in processing tests.
According to mining publication International Mining, Morgan told the Africa Down Under mining conference in Perth that the company is launching a scoping study into building a pilot plant to test a new process to extract the nickel. The company WildIP has patented a new metal extraction process that might be usable for the Titan project. Morgan said that WildIP’s process requires low temperatures and low-cost reagents, is environmentally friendly, and might not require the use of a tailings dam. He said that the breakthrough process had broad applications to nickel but could be used to extract other metals such as gold, platinum, palladium, copper, and silver.
According to The Australian, the processing technique would recover 100% of the nickel but Morgan would not explain the process. The technique could also liberate microscopic nickel balls that had previously been undetected by the company.
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