Polymetallic nodules, also called manganese nodules (due to their high content of this element), contain various valuable metals such as Cu, Ni and Co. These seabed minerals are a good alternative source of Co and Mn due to the decrease in the grade of mineral deposits on the earth’s surface. For the treatment of manganese nodules, acid-reducing leaching is apparently the most attractive, due to its low cost compared to other processes, short operational times, and it is more friendly to the environment. In this investigation, the extraction of Mn and Co from manganese nodules from two different locations was studied in acid media and by reusing a steel slag obtained from a steel smelting process. An ANOVA analysis was performed to determine the most appropriate Manganese Nodule/Fe(res) ratio and time to dissolve Co and Mn from the nodules. Effect of temperature on the process was evaluated, and then a residue analysis was carried out. Finally, it was discovered that the best results were obtained when working at 60 °C in a time of 15 min, obtaining extractions of approximately 98% Mn and 55% Co. Additionally, the formation of polluting elements was not observed, nor the precipitation of Mn and Co species in the studied residues.
- iron slag
- marine nodules