The presence of iron in pregnant leach solutions (PLS) is a common problem, and is generally removed using jarosite, goethite, hematite or para-goethite precipitation methods. Although these methods are successfully applied, significant amounts of nickel can be lost. In this study, iron precipitation was performed on a PLS obtained from agitation leaching of a lateritic nickel ore under atmospheric conditions using the para-goethite method. The PLS contained 2.62 g/dm(3) Ni, 54.28 g/dm(3) Fe and 0.14 g/dm(3) Co. During the precipitation tests the effect of pH, time, temperature, and metal concentration were investigated. The influence of the key points, temperature and metal concentration, on nickel loss was explained in reference to SEM and XRD analyses. Ultimately, selective nickel and iron separation was achieved with complete iron precipitation and only 1.2% Ni loss.