Cuban Moa Plant possesses a technology with great efficiency, which process nickel laterites. An important part of the facilities will be in conditions to be adapted for the nodules processing and to achieve high nonferrous metals and manganese recovery. This paper shows in a brief way the principal results of investigations carried out at lab scale on a polymetallic marine nodules sample processing from INTEROCEANMETAL Mining Site in the Pacific Ocean. The investigations include the study of the atmospheric pressure acid leaching with sulfur dioxide and air, and the transformation of the raw material in different unitary operations envisaged in the technological route of Moa Plant.


The polymetallic marine nodules are oxidized ores of Mn, Ni, Co, Cu, Zn and other metals, unique of its type in nature, founded in the bottom of the ocean, considered as "Heritage of Mankind" (Genov et al. 1990). In the next future capital investment to process this type of sea ore body will be less than those required to process land are body due to the rapid end of land are body and also because of the serious pollution its processing provokes to the environment (Korsakov et a1.1991). The manufacture of high productive technical means for submarine operations as well as optimum technology to mine, transport and process these type of ore will have great influence in the effectiveness of the whole Nodular Enterprise and also in the metal prices. The selection of polymetallic marine nodules processing technology is determined, among other aspects, by the physics -chemical characteristics of this type of ore, quality and quantity composition of the metals to recover, rationalization of the used methodology as well as market situation. The researchers in the polymetallic marine nodules processing have used pyrometallurgical, hydrometallurgical, and combined methods.

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