One main source of nickel besides nickel sulfide ore is laterite nickel ore. Laterite ore is more sustainable and has abundant reserves. Nowadays, nickel demands are increasingly needed either for the manufacture of stainless steel or nickel-based batteries. This study aims to study the smelting process of limonitic laterite nickel ore. The smelting process was performed using a Mini Blast Furnace pilot plant with a capacity of ten tons of ore per day or 350 kg per batch. In the interest of modifying the properties of slag and enhance selective reduction, limestone and coal were used. The smelting process was performed by feeding raw material bearing nickel (ore and sinter) as much as 480 kg. The ratio of nickel:sintered:coal:limestone was 1:2.3:2.73:(1.14–1.44). The blast air used was 26 m3/min. Then, the crude ferronickel or nickel pig iron products and the resulting slag were characterized using EDX and XRD. As a result, the resulting crude ferronickel products had relatively high nickel and sulfur contents, namely 24.30% and 1.15%, respectively. In addition, the nickel recovery produced was 64.3%. Selective reduction proved can be enhanced by amount of limestone fed into Mini Blast Furnace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-600
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of The Institution of Engineers (India): Series D
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Limestone
  • Limonitic laterite
  • Mini Blast Furnace
  • Selective reduction
  • Sustainability


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