Recovery of nickel from awaruite: froth flotation and atmospheric acid leaching behavior of the natural nickel-iron alloy

The Decar Nickel District is located in British Columbia. With more than 2 million tonnes of Ni, the district represents a significant resource. The nickel occurs in an uncommon mineral awaruite which is an alloy of nickel and iron. Due to its strong ferro-magnetic properties and high density (SG 8.0) it should be easily recoverable using magnetic separation followed by gravity concentration. However, the presence of significant amounts of magnetite which as similar physical properties makes it difficult to separate the awaruite from the magnetite. After preliminary investigations it was found that awaruite can be floated and leached with sulfuric acid. The proposed investigation is to understand why flotation and leaching are working for awaruite and to evaluate which would be the best solution to concentrate and extract nickel from the Decar Nickel District.

Faculty Supervisor:

Bern Klein


Santiago Seiler


FPX Nickel Corp


Engineering - other


Mining and quarrying




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