Nickel - Statistics & Facts

Nickel is a chemical element and a transition metal, mostly used for high-grade steel manufacturing. World production of nickel in mines was estimated to be some 2.3 million metric tons in 2018. Major countries in nickel mining include Indonesia, Philippines, New Caledonia, and Russia. Indonesia is the country with the largest reserves of nickel, followed by Australia and Brazil. Interestingly, nickel reserves are among metals and minerals with the least remaining life years, however because nickel is highly recyclable this poses less of a problem.

The top companies based on nickel production as of 2018 were Tsingshan Group from China, Vale from Brazil, and Nornickel from Russia. In 2018, Vale produced 245,000 metric tons of nickel, while Nornickel produced some 158,000 metric tons.

As of 2019, the United States had one active nickel mine, located in Michigan. U.S. production figures for nickel as a refinery by-product are not available. However, the U.S. recycles substantial amounts of nickel, amounting to 90,000 metric tons from scrap in 2016. There are also considerable imports of nickel, with Canada being the major country of origin. Approximately two thirds of all nickel consumed in the U.S. is used for the production of stainless and heat-resistant steel.

In 2018, the global consumption of nickel amounted to some 2.31 million metric tons. That year, the average price for one metric ton of nickel was 13,144 U.S. dollars, a significant decrease from 22,910 U.S. dollars in 2011. Nevertheless, forecasts for the production, consumption, and price of nickel are showing a tendency to rise over the course of the years to come.

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Top countries

United States

Demand and price

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