1070-4272/03/7606-0884 $25.00 C 2003 MAIK [Nauka/Interperiodica]
Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, Vol. 76, No. 6, 2003, pp. 884!887. Translated from Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, Vol. 76, No. 6, 2003,
Original Russian Text Copyright + 2003 by Ertseva, Korotkova, Seregin, Fokeeva.
OF SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES
Distribution of Microimpurities among Phases of Converter
Matte from Pechenganikel’ Combine
L. N. Ertseva, O. V. Korotkova, P. S. Seregin, and I. G. Fokeeva
Institut Gipronikel’ Open Joint-Stock Company, St. Petersburg, Russia
Received April 8, 2003
Abstract-Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray fluorescence microanalysis were applied to study
the distribution of zinc, lead, arsenic, antimony, and tin among phases of the converter matte from
the Pechenganikel’ combine.
In manufacture of nonferrous metals at plants of
the Kola Mining and Smelting Company (KGMK), it
is possible to process secondary raw materials con-
taining considerable amounts of impurities, such as
Zn, Pb, Sn, As, and Sb. In waste processing, these
impurities pass into various half-products (matte,
dusts, return slag). Owing to the high content of non-
ferrous metals, return materials are recycled into
various stages of the smelting process, which results
in gradual accumulation of impurities in some metal-
lurgical half-products and, in the end, in that these
impurities pass into commercial products. In this con-
text, it becomes important to study the behavior of
microimpurities in different stages of metallurgical
processes at KGMK.
The main source from which the microimpurities
under study come into the smelting process is the me-
tallic copper waste processed in vertical converters
at the copper shop of the Severonikel’ combine .
The converter slag, into which a large amount of
microimpurities passes, is a return material processed
in ore-thermal furnaces and horizontal converters at
the smelting shop. This is how Pb, Zn, As, Sb, and
Sn impurities find way into the converter matte of
the Pechenganikel’ combine.
Further ingress of the microimpurities into nickel
and copper concentrates depends on their distribution
among phases of the converter matte delivered to flo-
The real content of the impurities under study
in industrial converter mattes is rather low (wt %):
As 0.13; Pb 0.03; Zn, Sn, and Sb up to 0.01. In view
of this circumstance, increased amounts of these met-
als were introduced in laboratory into the copper
matte in order to elucidate the mechanism of micro-
impurity distribution among the concentrates. Zinc,
lead, arsenic, antimony, and tin (in metallic form)
were introduced (0.1 and 0.5 wt %) into a weighed
portion of the converter matte.
Experiments were done in an induction furnace
in the atmosphere of argon. A weighed portion was
melted in a crucible (heating rate of 1 deg min
then kept at 1300oC for 15320 min and slowly cooled
with the furnace. The system for control over the fur-
nace heater allowed programmed cooling.
A sample of a typical converter matte from the Pe-
chenganikel’ combine was chosen for study . Con-
verter matte composition (wt %): S 22.2, Fe 2.9,
Co 0.7, Ni 39.9, and Cu 30.6.
The converter matte samples with introduced im-
purities were studied using scanning electron micro-
scopy (SEM) and X-ray fluorescence microanalysis
(CamScan scanning electron microscope with ED
spectrometer and LINK ISIS 200 processing unit).
Under the chosen analytical conditions, the minimum
determinable content of Ni, Cu, Co, Fe, Zn, Pb (M
), Sb (L
), and Sn (L
) was 0.0330.04 wt %.
are the characteristic lines of X-ray emis-
sion for the elements under study).
It was established that solid converter matte has
a structure typical of such products (Fig. 1a): the
matrix of the sample is constituted by nickel sulfide,
which is close in composition to heazlewoodite Ni
) and contains structures formed in eutectic or
eutectoid decomposition (Fig. 1b). Rounded copper