For a long time the main source for the nickel metal production was magmatic sulfide ore. But with the globally increased demand of nickel metal other sources become more needful. One of these nickel sources is laterite which is typically mined as lowgrade deposit in open pit mines.
Due to their large dimensions these mines usually contain a significant amount of nickel and therefore they contribute more and more to the increasing nickel demand. In order to optimize the nickel production processes the monitoring of the chemical composition of nickel laterite and its associated materials is more than ever essential.
Besides the major elements such as Ni, Fe, and Si the elements Mg, Al, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, and Zn typically occur in minor and trace amounts. All these elements can be analyzed using the S2 PUMA energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) spectrometer. This instrument offers a fast and accurate control of both the mining process and the subsequent beneficiation processes. This lab report shows the performance of this instrument for the analysis of nickel laterites, prepared as pressed pellets and as fused beads.