VANCOUVER – COMINCO ENGINEERING SERVICES (CESL), an affiliate of Teck Cominco, has been granted a Canadian patent for its hydrometallurgical nickel production process. The new, low-cost process extracts nickel metal directly from sulphide ore.
The CESL process involves autoclave leaching in a mixed chloride/sulphate environment that extracts the dissolved nickel by solvent extraction and electrowinning and eliminates the sulphur dioxide gas generation typical of nickel smelters. The process is an environmentally sound, low capital cost alternative to nickel smelting with broad applicability in the industry. It was developed at CESL’s Vancouver-based pilot plant facilities between 1996 and 2002.
A flowsheet of the process may be viewed at www.cesl.com in either English or Spanish.