The dissolution kinetics in 2 M H2SO4 of variously dehydroxylated nickeliferous goethites was investigated for five oxide-type lateritic nickel deposits. Goethite was the main constituent with minor amounts of quartz, talc, kaolinite and Mn oxides. Dissolution of Fe from heated materials followed the Kabai equation. There was a 9–34-fold increase in the Kabai dissolution rate constant (k) for samples heated at 340–400 °C due to both the increased surface area (1.5–2.6 fold) and higher density of structural defects (5–10 fold) in the variously dehydroxylated products. The presence of structural Al and Cr in goethite appears to reduce dissolution rate possibly through the greater M3+–OH, O bond strength relative to Fe3+, Ni2+–OH, O. Nickel showed congruent dissolution with Fe indicating that Ni was uniformly incorporated in the goethite structure. Pre-heating goethite to 600–800 °C for 30 min resulted in incongruent dissolution of Fe and Ni. It is postulated that some Ni is ejected from the neo-formed hematite structure and resides on the crystal surface or in voids. These results may contribute to the development of more efficient procedures for Ni extraction including heap leaching of lateritic nickel ores.
Landers, M., Gilkes, R., & Wells, M. (2009). Dissolution kinetics of dehydroxylated nickeliferous goethite from limonitic lateritic nickel ore. Applied Clay Science, 42, 615-624. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clay.2008.05.002