Preliminary Study of Scandium Enrichment in Lateritic Profile from Weathered Ultramafic Rock in Lapaopao Area Kolaka Regency of Southeast Sulawesi Suharto Onggang (a*), Adi Maulana (b), Sufriadin (c), Ulva Ria Irfan (c)
a) Doctoral Student in Earth and Environmental Technology Study Program, Faculty of Engineering, Hasanuddin University
b) Geology Department, Faculty of Engineering, Hasanuddin University
c) Mining Department, Faculty of Engineering, Hasanuddin University
Scandium is one of the rare earth elements which is currently widely used for various needs such as the aerospace industry, solid oxide fuel cells, electronics industry and in metallurgical applications. Generally, Scandium appears in small amounts so its structural role in the host minerals cannot be readily identified. Some studies reported the scandium extraction from lateritic nickel deposit where may contain considerable amount of scandium in addition to nickel and cobalt. Preliminary research of scandium enrichment has been investigated from the ultramafic rock indicates that an enrichment of scandium concentration was found in the red limonite. The aim of this study was to investigate the potentially enrichment of scandium mineral from nickel laterite in Lapaopao Area. There are a total of 38 samples from 1 (one) diamond drill holes which represent the limonite, saprolite and bedrock profiles have been collected and studied to investigate the distribution pattern of Sc grades within the lateritic profile. These samples are being analyzed by XRF for major and minor element and ICP-OES method for rare earth element assaying. The study has confirmed that scandium is enriched in limonite layer of weathered ultramafic laterite profile. The scandium content from the ultramafic bedrock is 15 ppm and has enriched until 81 ppm of scandium in the limonite layer.
Keywords: Scandium, rare earth element, Lapaopao, Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Topic: Material Science and Health Community Services