Advertisement

Geology and Economic Potential of Ni Deposits

  • Ömer ElitokEmail author
  • Metin Tavlan
Chapter
Part of the Modern Approaches in Solid Earth Sciences book series (MASE, volume 16)

Abstract

Magmatic sulphide and laterite deposits are the two major sources of the nickel metal in the world. Although the sulphide deposits have been operated since historic times, recently discovered laterite deposits are taking over the majority of the world’s nickel production.

Nickel laterites are the supergene weathering products of ultramafic rocks under tropical climatic conditions. Apart from the modern laterites still forming along the equatorial zones, there are fossil laterites in the world, which formed when climate was favourable. Turkey has now a mild temperate climate but the Tethyan ophiolites in Turkey have been weathered to form at least ten lateritic nickel occurrences from Cretaceous to Miocene.

Nickel laterite occurrences in Turkey have a Fe-oxide dominated mineralogy and average 1–1.5% nickel grade. Although none of them is a world-class deposit there are still large-scale investments in deposits containing 20–30 million tonnes of nickel ore. On the other hand, smaller deposits showing favourable grades have been operated for the direct ore shipment purposes to feed Fe-Ni smelters in China and Eastern Europe. Run-of-mine nickel production of Turkey between 2005 and 2014 is nearly 1.5 million tonnes according to General Directorate of Mining Affairs.

References

  1. Ağaçayak T (2008) Karaçam (Eskişehir) lateritik nikel cevherinin fiziksel ve kimyasal yöntemlerle zenginleştirilmesi [Physical and chemical enrichment of Karaçam (Eskişehir) lateritic nickel ore]. PhD thesis, Selçuk University, Institute of Natural and Applied Sciences, Konya, Turkey, 211pGoogle Scholar
  2. Alcock RA (1988) The character and resources available to the nickel industry. In: Tyroler CP, Landolt CA (eds) Extractive metallurgy of nickel and cobalt, the metallurgical society. 117th TMS Annual meeting proceedings, Phoenix, Arizona, pp 67–89Google Scholar
  3. Asutay HJ, Küçükayman A, Gözler MZ (1989) Dağküplü (Eskişehir Kuzeyi) ofiyolit karmaşığının stratigrafisi, yapısal konumu ve kümülatların petrografisi [The structural and stratigraphic positiıon of Dağküplü (north of Eeskişehir) ophiolithic complex and petrography of cumulates]. Bull Miner Res Explor 109:1–8 (In Turkish with English abstract)Google Scholar
  4. Bozkurt E (2001) Neotectonics of Turkey—a synthesis. Geodin Acta 14:3–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brand NW, Butt CRM, Elias M (1998) Nickel laterites: classification and features. AGSO J Aust Geol Geophys 17–4:81–88Google Scholar
  6. Butt CRM, Cluzel D (2013) Nickel laterite ore deposits: weathered serpentinites. Elemets 9:123–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Çağatay A, Altun Y, Arman B (1981) The mineralogy of Çaldağ (Manisa-Turgutlu) lateritic iron, nickel-cobalt deposit. Bull Miner Res Explor 95–96:82–96Google Scholar
  8. Çolakoğlu AR (2009) Geochemical and mineralogical characteristics of Fe-Ni laterite ore of Sarıçimen (Çaldıran-Van) area in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey. Turk J Earth Sci 18:449–464Google Scholar
  9. Elias M (2002) Nickel laterite deposits—geological overview, resources and exploitation In: Cooke D, Pongratz J (eds) Giant ore deposits: characteristics, genesis, and exploration. Centre for Ore Deposit Research, University of Tasmania, CODES Special Publication 4, Hobart, Tasmania, pp 205–220Google Scholar
  10. Ernst RE (2014) Large igneous provinces. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 653pGoogle Scholar
  11. Freyssinet P, Butt CRM, Morris RC, Piantone P (2005) Ore forming processes related to lateritic weathering. Economic Geology, 100th Anniversary Volume, pp 681–722Google Scholar
  12. Gleeson SA, Butt CRM, Elias M (2003) Nickel laterites: a review. Soc Econ Geol Newsl 54:10–16Google Scholar
  13. González-Álvarez I, Pirajno F, Kerrich R (2013) Hydrothermal nickel deposits: secular variation and diversity. Ore Geol Rev 52:1–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Helvacı C, Gündoğan İ, Oyman T, Sözbilir H, Parlak O (2013) Geology, mineralogy and geochemical properties of the Çaldağ Ni-Co laterite deposits. Bull Earth Sci 34–2:101–132 (In Turkish with English abstract)Google Scholar
  15. Hoatson DM, Jaireth S, Jaques AL (2006) Nickel sulfide deposits in Australia: characteristics, resources, and potential. Ore Geol Rev 29:177–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Juteau T (1980) Ophiolites of Turkey. Ofioliti 2:199–237Google Scholar
  17. Kadir S, Aydoğan MS, Elitok Ö, Helvacı C (2015) Composition and genesis of the nickel-chrome-bearing nontronite and montmorillonite in lateritized ultramafic rocks in the Muratdağı region (Uşak, western Anatolia), Turkey. Clay Clay Miner 63–3:163–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kahya A, Kuşcu M (2014) Source of the mineralizing fluids in ultramafic related magnesite in the Eskişehir area, northwest Turkey, along the İzmir-Ankara Suture: a stable isotope study. Turk J Earth Sci 23:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kuck PH (2009) Nickel: U.S. geological survey mineral commodity summaries. https://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/mcs/2009/mcs2009.pdf
  20. Lelong F, Tardy Y, Grandin G, Trescase JJ, Boulange B (1976) Pedogenesis, chemical weathering and processes of formation of some supergene ore deposits. In: Wolf KH (ed) Handbook of strata-bound and stratiform ore deposits. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 92–173Google Scholar
  21. Mudd GM (2010) Global trends and environmental issues in nickel mining: sulfides versus laterites. Ore Geol Rev 38:9–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mudd GM, Jowitt SM (2014) A detailed assessment of global nickel resource trends and endowments. Econ Geol 109:1813–1841CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Naldrett AJ, (1989) Magmatic sulfide deposits. Clarendon Press, New York, 177pGoogle Scholar
  24. Naldrett AJ (1997) Key factors in the genesis of Norilsk, Sudbury, Jinchuan, Voisey’s Bay and other world-class Ni–Cu–PGE deposits: implications for exploration. Aust J Earth Sci 44:283–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Okay A (1981) The geology and blueschist metamorphism of the ophiolites in northwest Turkey (Tavşanlı – Kütahya). Bull Geol Soc Turk 24:85–95 (In Turkish with English abstract)Google Scholar
  26. Pirajno F, (2000) Ore deposits and mantle plumes. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 556pGoogle Scholar
  27. Robb L, (2005) Introduction to ore-forming processes. Blackwell, Oxford, 373pGoogle Scholar
  28. Robertson AHF (2002) Overview of the genesis and emplacement of Mesozoic ophiolites in the Eastern Mediterranean Tethyan region. Lithos 65:1–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sarıfakıoğlu E, Sevin M, Dilek Y (2017) Türkiye ofiyolitleri [Turkey ophiolites]. General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration, Special Publication 35, Ankara, Turkey, 100pGoogle Scholar
  30. Tavlan M (2012) Tectono-stratigraphic evolution of Çaldağ Laterite. Dokuz Eylül University, The Graduate School of Natural and Applied Science, MSc thesis, İzmir, Turkey, 43p (unpublished)Google Scholar
  31. Tavlan M, Thorne R, Herrington RJ (2011) Uplift and lateritization history of the Çaldağ ophiolite in the context of Neo-Tethyan ophiolite obduction and uplift: implications for the Cenozoic weathering history of western Anatolia. J Geol Soc Lond 168:927–940CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Thorne R, Herrington R, Roberts S (2009) Composition and origin of the Çaldağ oxide nickel laterite, W. Turkey. Miner Deposita 44:581–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Thorne RL, Roberts S, Herrington R (2012) Climate change and the formation of nickel laterite deposits. Geology 40–44:331–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. TMMOB (Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architecs) Türkiye Maden Mühendisleri Odası (Chamber of Mining Engineers) (2012) Nikel Raporu [Nickel report], Ankara, Turkey, 52p (In Turkish)Google Scholar
  35. Uslu İ (2007) Mihalıçcık (Eskişehir) çevresindeki kromit ve manyezit yataklarının LANDSAT 7 ETM+ ve ASTER uydu verileri ile incelenmesi [Investigation of chromite and magnesite deposits around Mihalıçcık (Eskişehir) using LANDSAT 7 ETM+ and ASTER remote sensing data]. MSc thesis, Ankara University, The Graduate School of Natural and Applied Science Geological Engineering Department, 118p (unpublished)Google Scholar
  36. Wells MA, Ramanaidou ER, Verrall M, Tessarolo C (2009) Mineralogy and chemistry of “garnierites” in the Goro lateritic nickel deposit, New Caledonia. Eur J Mineral 21–22:467–483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yıldırım H, Morcali H, Turan A, Yücel O (2013) Nickel pig iron production from lateritic ores. The 13th International Ferroalloys Congress, Efficient technologies in ferroalloy industry, June 9–13, Almaty, Kazakhstan. pp 237–244Google Scholar
  38. Yılmaz A, Yılmaz H (2013) Ophiolites and ophiolitic melanges of Turkey: a review. Geol Bull Turk 56–2:61–114Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geological EngineeringSüleyman Demirel UniversityIspartaTurkey
  2. 2.Lyons Cement Plant, CEMEX Construction MaterialsDenverUSA

Personalised recommendations