Canadian Patent Application No.: CA 2525625
A process for the production of pure metallic nickel and cobalt from metallic ores
comprising oxides of nickel, cobalt and iron, the process comprising (a) treating the ores with hydrogen at a pressure of at least atmospheric pressure and an effective temperature, in the presence of chloride anion or an in situ generator thereof precursor; to
produce a first mixture comprising particulate nickel and particulate cobalt; (b) reacting the first mixture with carbon monoxide to produce gaseous nickel carbonyl and a first residue comprising solid cobalt carbonyl; (c) removing and thermally decomposing the nickel carbonyl to produce the pure metallic nickel; (d) treating the first residue with an effective amount of a complexing gaseous mixture of nitric oxide and carbon monoxide to produce cobalt nitrosyl tricarbonyl; and removing and decomposing the cobalt nitrosyl tricarbonyl to provide the purified cobalt and regenerated complexing gaseous mixture; and removing the regenerated complexing gaseous mixture.