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Nickeliferous laterite deposits comprise in situ lateritic weathering products developed from peridotites. Nickel enrichment in the laterite profile is largely derived from olivine or serpentine. Four zones are noted in normal, uneroded profiles: (1) the upper zone—transported limonite and ferricrete, (2) in situ limonite, (3) intermediate zone—either nontronite or silica boxwork, and (4) lower zone—saprolite. Profiles are classed into four major types on the basis of the serpentine content of the host and the presence or absence of the intermediate zone.

Profiles without an intermediate zone are characteristic of the humid equatorial zone or other locales with very high...

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