Basic developments



Hydrometallurgical technologies for processing of oxidized nickel ores

VNIItsvetmet has developed various types of processing of oxidized nickel ores by hydrometallurgical methods:   
- pressure leaching;
- leaching under atmospheric pressure;
- heap leaching.
Depending on raw material type and selected processing flow-sheet, it is possible to achieve nickel recovery into concentrate up to 70-95%, when total concentration of nickel and cobalt in commercial products is 25-30%

There is wide experience of studying of the material composition and technological characteristic of such ores.  
The technologies can be used within Kazakhstan, which has considerable reserves of oxidized nickel ores. Basic ore components of such ores are silicate rocks (chloropal, chloropal serpentine and etc.). At present about 40 deposits of silicate oxide nickel ores, which are commercially interesting, have been explored in Kazakhstan. The average content of nickel in such ores is about 0.6-1.4% and in some places - up to 1.5-3.0%.

Pressure technology to process zinc and bulk copper-zinc concentrates

Process flowsheet:

Notation conventions:
1. Autoclave leaching
2. Preliminary neutralization and Fe removal
3. Hydrolytic refining
4. Complex refining
5. Electrolysis

Technology provides ecological safety, low-waste and high metals recovery.

Technology of zinc concentrates (zinc-43%, copper-3.2%, iron-10.6%, silver-95g/t) processing is applied at "Kazakhmys" corporation zinc plant with the design capacity of 100 thousand t of zinc per year.

Technology of bulk copper-zinc concentrates processing (zinc-20%, copper-7.6%, iron-22%, silver-140g/t) is developed for enterprises of "Kazakhmys" corporation.

Recovery, % Zinc concentrates Bulk copper-zinc concentrates
Zinc to metal 95-97 90-92
Copper to middlings 75-80 92-95

Methods are protected by patents of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Technology of lead salts production from oxidized lead-bearing industrial products

Process is based on direct obtaining of lead salts from lead dusts, residues and sulfate-oxide fraction from battery scrap shredding, escaping the stage of metals obtaining and its conversion into litharge.

Technology is wasteless, has low capital cost and provides high recovery of precious components from raw materials.

Experimental batch of lead salts was prepared at pilot plant and tested in industrial conditions in manufacturing of PVC cable plasticates, paints and glass of high quality.

Lead salts meet the requirements of the operating standards.
Method is protected by patents of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Proposals to investors

Testing of the technology to process various raw materials and middlings at VNIItsvetmet pilot plant

Pilot plant of SA “VNIItsvetmet” was manufactured in Japan and assembled in Ust-Kamenogorsk in 1999 in the frameworks of Japan-Kazakhstan scientific-technical cooperation  in the field of development of environmentally friendly high-efficient technology for extraction and processing of mineral complex raw materials (in particular tailings from dressing plant and low-grade ores). The technologies which were developed as a result of joint research of VNIItsvetmet specialists, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (Japan), "Metal Mining Agency of Japan, Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. ltd" company, were tested at the plant and recommended to industrial application.

The plant is unique research complex, where all the basic dressing and hydrometallurgical procedures of processing of mineral raw materials with various compositions may be performed in semi-industrial scale (leaching, flotation, extraction, sorption, electrolysis).    
Pilot Plant consists from crushing section, flotation section, agitation and heap leaching sections, extraction and refining sections, sorption section, and waste-water treatment section. Major facilities of the plant are equipped with essential automatic and control devices.

High-volume percolation columns of pilot-industrial plant of SA “VNIItesvetmet”
Flotation dressing section
Filtration section

Extraction-electrolysis section

Laboratory plant for heap leaching tests  

The plant has been operating in the following fields:

The results of the tests may be used for preparation of Process Procedures for designing of industrial plants, preparation of technical and economic assessment and recommendation letters for plants.