R.D.Schuiling, Institute of Geosciences, Utrecht
Nickel is recovered from its ores by pyrometallurgical (smelting) or hydrometallurgical (leaching) processes. Both are energy-intensive and environmentally unfriendly. The situation would improve if a first concentration step can be found that is cheap and compatible with the environment. Such a preliminary concentration step would already reduce the volume of the throughput of the metallurgical processes, and thereby reduce their environmental impact.
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