Mineralogical Characteristics of the Nickel Laterite, Southeast Ophiolite Belt, Sulawesi Island, Indonesia

  • Yingyi ZhangEmail author
  • Junmao Qie
  • Xun Fu Wang
  • Kunkun Cui
  • Tao Fu
  • Jie Wang
  • Yuanhong Qi


With the sharp decrease of sulfide nickel resources, the nickel laterite is becoming more attractive as nickel oxide, nickel matte, and nickel-iron. This study investigated the mineral phase structure, chemical analysis, thermal properties, and element distribution characteristics of the rotten rock layer deposited in the Southeast Sulawesi Ophiolite Belt. The results show that the nickel laterite deposited in Southeast Sulawesi Island, Indonesia, belongs to the typical high-nickel and low-iron garnierite-type laterite. The concentrations of nickel and iron of the nickel laterite are 1.99 wt% and 17.55 wt%, respectively. The serpentine, olivine, clay, chlorite, hematite, and magnetite are the major minerals, and the pyroxene, actinolite, limonite, and chromite are the minor minerals in the nickel laterite in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. Serpentine and olivine are the main nickel minerals with an average nickel concentration of 3.65 wt% and 1.73 wt%, respectively. The Fe and Ni have homogeneity and symbiosis in the serpentine and olivine, and their concentrations are often positively correlated.


Nickel laterite Mineralogical analysis Sulawesi Serpentine Olivine 



The authors wish to acknowledge the contributions of associates and colleagues at Anhui University of Technology.

Funding Information

The authors acknowledge the financial support of the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFB0603800 and 2017YFB0603802) and the National Natural Science Foundation (51604049).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yingyi Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Junmao Qie
    • 1
  • Xun Fu Wang
    • 2
  • Kunkun Cui
    • 1
  • Tao Fu
    • 1
  • Jie Wang
    • 1
  • Yuanhong Qi
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Metallurgical EngineeringAnhui University of TechnologyMaanshanChina
  2. 2.Central Research Institute of Baoshan Iron and Steel Co. Ltd.ShanghaiChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Advance Steel Processes and ProductsCentral Iron and Steel Research InstituteBeijingChina

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