Processing of polymetallic sea nodules: An overview

Premchand, and Jana, R K (1999) Processing of polymetallic sea nodules: An overview. In: Proceedings of the third (1999) ISOPE ocean mining symposium, Nov 08-10, 1999, Goa, India.



Polymetallic sea nodules are the potential sources of copper, nickel, cobalt and manganese. As the land based resources of these metals are depleting very fast, a considerable R&D effort have been made all over the world to extract the metals from the sea nodules during the past four decades. The paper summarises the processes developed by various R&D organisations and metallurgical consortia for the extraction of metal values from the sea nodules. Since the copper, nickel and cobalt in the sea nodules are in oxide Forms and they associate in the lattices of iron and manganese minerals, for extraction of these metals the lattices are broken either by hydrometallurgical reduction or by reductive pyre-treatment. Based on this criteria, processing methods have been broadly divided into two categories : (i) pyrometallurgical treatment followed by hydrometallurgical processing and (ii) purely hydrometallurgical processing. Processes developed under these two categories have been discussed highlighting their merits and demerits. Pilot plant studies carried out by various metallurgical consortia like Knnecott Copper Corporation, Deep Sea Ventures, Metallurgie Hoboken - Overpelt, International Nickel Company are also given. The R&D efforts made in India in the processing of sea nodules during last one decade and the future programme are also discussed.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Official URL/DOI:
Uncontrolled Keywords:polymetallic nodules; review; various processes; R&D work in India
Divisions:Metal Extraction and Forming
ID Code:1136
Deposited By:Sahu A K
Deposited On:22 Jun 2010 17:48
Last Modified:26 Dec 2011 12:27
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