Nickel is a metal that is found in light gold and silver color. It is not found in pure form in nature, it occurs mostly in the form of oxides, sulfites and silicates together with iron and cobalt. Nickel is found in two types of mineral deposits, lateritic and sulfitic, in the world. Different methods are required for nickel recovery from these deposits. In our country, nickel deposits in Manisa-Gördes, Uşak-Banaz, Bolu-Mudurnu-Akçaalan, Eskişehir-Mihalıççık-Yunus Emre are lateritic type deposits, while in Bitlis-Pancarlı, Bursa-Orhaneli, Sivas-Divriği and Hatay-Dörtyol are sulfide deposits. Nickel is indispensable for modern industry because of its chemical and physical properties. 70% of the nickel produced in the world is used in the production of stainless steel. As an end product, it is a highly equipped material used in the construction, automotive, petrochemical, manufacturing, energy and renewable energy, electronics industries.
Nickel is an alloy metal. According to the World Nickel Institute; approximately 66% of the nickel produced is used in the production of stainless steel, and is used to make corrosion-resistant alloys. There are alloys made with copper, chrome, aluminum, lead, cobalt, silver and gold. Nickel is used in the construction of engine parts (gas turbines, jet engines, etc.) due to its durability at very high and very low temperatures. Today, nickel is used in approximately 300 thousand products such as in the transport, aerospace, marine and construction industries, architectural applications, medical devices and coin production.
World Nickel Reserves and Productions
The total of the world metal nickel reserves is 94 million tons. About 40% of this is found in sulfide deposits and 60% in lateritic deposits. The most important known nickel deposits are in Australia, Brazil, Russia ,New Caledonia Islands, Cuba, Philippines and Indonesia. (USGS, 2021) (World Mining Data, 2020)
According to the 2022 data included in the report of the American Geological Survey (USGS, Mineral Commodity Summaries, 2022); the countries with the highest nickel reserves are Indonesia (21 million tons), Australia (21 million tons), Brazil (16 million tons), Russia (7,5 million tons), Cuba (5.5 million tons) (USGS, 2021).
Looking at the world nickel production in recent years, it is seen that the nickel production has increased continuously.
Largest Nickel Producers by Country
Total nickel production in the world is 2.7 million tons in 2021.
According to the data of 2020 included in the 2021 report of the American Geological Survey (USGS, Mineral Commodity Summaries), 760,000 tons of nickel was produced in Indonesia, which is the leading nickel producer, 320,000 tons in the Philippines, 150,000 tons in Canada and 280,000 tons in Russia. In addition, 170,000 tons of nickel was produced in Australia, 200,000 tons in New Caledonia, 73,000 tons in Brazil and 120,000 tons in China. (USGS, 2021); (World Mining Data, 2020).
China, whose industry and economy has developed strongly, has become an important nickel producer and consumer in recent years.
Turkey Nickel Resources, Reserves and Production
Economic and exploitable nickel formations are Manisa-Çaldağ, Manisa-Gördes and Eskişehir-Mihalıççık-Yunus Emre mines. Since the ores in other regions are of low grade, their operation is currently not economical. Private sector initiatives, which started with the rapid rise in nickel prices in the 2000s, have brought momentum to nickel mining.
January-December 2019 average nickel price remained below US$15,000/ton and fell back to US$10,000/ton in 2020. Parallel to the rise in commodity prices after the Covid-19 outbreak, it increased in 2021 and 2022 and exceeded US$ 25,000/ton levels. (London Metal Exchange, 2020); (Metalbulletin, 2020).
CONCLUSION and EVALUATION
It can be thought that nickel will continue as an important metal within the framework of increasing electricity use and increasing demand for electric vehicles. Considering the critical raw materials studies of the European Union and the United States, this prediction becomes even stronger.
Date of Update: 08 June 2022
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