New developments in the recovery of manganese from lower-grade resources
Minerals & Metallurgical Processing
, 2012, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 61-74
Chow, N.; Nacu, A.; Warkentin, D.; Teh, H.; Aksenov, I.; Fisher, J. W.
The recovery of manganese from lower-grade resources has been studied for a number of years. Of key importance in prior work was the discovery that higher-valent manganese can be readily leached with sulfurous acid. This eliminates the need for high-temperature reduction roasting that is conventionally used in processing high-grade material. High-temperature roasting is energy intensive, emits a large amount of carbon dioxide and would not be economical for processing lower grade material. While the prior work provides important information for extracting manganese from lower-grade resources, the production of unwanted byproducts and high water and energy usage has limited its commercial use. This paper describes the results from laboratory work that demonstrate solutions to problems that to this point have precluded commercial development. Preliminary mass and energy balances show that a significant opportunity exists in producing manganese with this hydrometallurgical scheme in a low-cost, environmentally friendly manner. The emphasis of the work is on low water use, low overall energy use and economic destruction of unwanted byproducts.