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Journal Articles Minerals Year : 2022

Evaluation of Sc concentrations in Ni-Co laterites using Al as a geochemical proxy

Yoram Teitler
Sylvain Favier
Fabrice Golfier
Michel Cathelineau

Abstract

Scandium (Sc) is used in several modern industrial applications, including aluminium-based alloys and solid oxide fuel cells. So far, Sc production remains marginal as the lack of reliable and cost-effective production limits its widespread adoption by the industry. Recently, significant Sc concentrations (~100 ppm) were reported in some nickel-cobalt lateritic ores, where Sc may be valuably co-produced along with Ni and Co. However, Sc is typically not included in routine analyses of Ni-Co ores, precluding the assessment of Sc concentration and distribution in existing Ni-Co deposits. This contribution examines the relevance of using routinely analysed elements as geochemical proxies for providing first-order estimates of Sc concentration and distribution in already assayed Ni-Co deposits. Three Ni-Co lateritic deposits from New Caledonia, developed after harzburgite (Ma-Oui deposit, Koniambo mine), harzburgite-dunite (Coquette Red tenement, Cap Bocage mine) and lherzolite (East Alpha deposit, Tiébaghi mine), were investigated. In each deposit, we demonstrate that Sc is globally well correlated with Al2O3, providing that the parent lithology is homogeneous and relatively depleted in Al. Deposit
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hal-03842567 , version 1 (07-11-2022)

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Yoram Teitler, Sylvain Favier, Jean-Paul Ambrosi, Brice Sevin, Fabrice Golfier, et al.. Evaluation of Sc concentrations in Ni-Co laterites using Al as a geochemical proxy. Minerals, 2022, 12 (5), pp.615. ⟨10.3390/min12050615⟩. ⟨hal-03842567⟩
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