Nickel

A look at Western Australia

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Western Australia has the largest proportion of the nation’s economic nickel resources and is currently the sole producer of nickel in Australia.

The State’s nickel resources consist of both sulphide and lateritic deposits, with most production derived from nickel sulphide mines.

In 2015-16, nickel was Western Australia’s fourth most valuable mineral sector, worth $2.2 billion.

BHP Billiton Nickel West is the largest producer of nickel in the State.

Uses

Nickel is corrosion-resistant, which has led to its use in plating metals such as iron and brass, as well as coating chemistry equipment, and certain alloys like iron nickel chromium alloys, commonly used in submarine applications. About six per cent of world nickel production is used for corrosion-resistant pure-nickel plating.

Across the globe

Australia has the largest nickel reserves with an estimated 19 million tonnes.  This represents 23 per cent of the world’s total estimated nickel reserves.  Brazil and New Caledonia hold the next largest reserves, with estimates of 10 million (13 per cent) and 8.4 million (11 per cent) respectively.

Nickel graph
Stats Digest: Nickel quantity and value
Nickel infographics
2014-15 Stats Digest: Nickel exports 2014-15

Quarter

Quantity (Kt)

Value ($M)

Mar-14

48.300

846.206605

Jun-14

48.820

957.084764

Sep-14

46.890

867.601048

Dec-14

51.586

911.605689

Mar-15

39.124

675.541558

Jun-15

45.716

714.856706

Sep-15

46.320

637.893397

Dec-15

42.780

525.516508

Mar-16

43.990

517.953111

Jun-16

42.631

500.000095