Nickel-cobalt (Ni-Co) laterite deposits are an important source of nickel (Ni). Currently, there is a decline in magmatic Ni-bearing sulfide lode deposit resources. New efforts to develop an alternative source of Ni, particularly with improved metallurgy processes, make the Ni-Co laterites an important exploration target in anticipation of the future demand for Ni. This deposit model provides a general description of the geology and mineralogy of Ni-Co laterite deposits, and contains discussion of the influences of climate, geomorphology (relief), drainage, tectonism, structure, and protolith on the development of favorable weathering profiles. This model of Ni-Co laterite deposits represents part of the U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Resources Program's effort to update the existing models to be used for an upcoming national mineral resource assessment.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Ni-Co laterite deposits
U.S. Geological Survey
Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center