BRITISH COLUMBIA – Vancouver-based First Point Minerals Corp. says lab scale tests have successfully produced high grade ferronickel from awaruite (nickel-iron alloy) concentrate from the company's 40% owned Decar project. The property, located 80 km north of Fort St. James, is 60% owned and operated by Cliffs Natural Resources.
The testing was done using proven and widely used processes to demonstrate that Decar concentrates can be upgraded in existing ferronickel plants. The concentrates can be produced by a combination of conventional two-stage grinding and magnetic separation followed by gravity concentration. No toxic reagents are added during processing and the ore contains little or no sulphides.
Work also demonstrated that smelting Decar concentrates on a stand-alone basis produces a high grade product of 35% to 50% nickel, comparing favourably to typical ferronickel products containing 15% to 40% nickel.
An alternative process route mixing Decar concentrates with saprolite ore at a pre-smelting, kiln reduction stage also gave positive results, but these are more preliminary in nature, First Point noted.
Learn more at FirstPointMinerals.com.