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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)

Matthews, Norman A.
Nickel,   pp. 629-641 ff. PDF (1.6 MB)


Page 638

Table 12.—Nickel: World smelter production, by country1 
(Short tons) 
Country2 1976 1977 l978P~ 1979e 
Australia3                                             
Botswana                                             
T43,947 
(5) 
37,633 
(5) 
41,146 
(5) 
~40,133 
(5) 
Brazil6                                               
2,369 
2,789 
2,811 
2,600 
Canada' —               
194,447 
186,960 
118,390 
75,400 
China, mainlande                                       
10,000 
11,000 
11,000 
11,000 
Cuba                                                
20300 
20400 
19800 
19800 
Czechoslovakia6                                         
3,900 
4,400 
4,400 
4,400 
Dominican Republic6                                     
Finland                                              
26,896 
8,404 
27,448 
10,414 
15,763 
8,268 
27,650 
12,675 
France'                                              
GermanDemocraticRepublice                              
Germany, Federal Republic of6                              
Greece6                                               
Indonesia6                                             
Japan                                                
Mexico                                               
13,573 
3,1OO~ 
143 
18,131 
4,252 
r104,499 
62 
11,331 
3,100 
100 
10,582 
5,432 
103,507 
37 
8,684 
3,300 
993 
16,645 
4,959 
87,303 
24 
3,860 
3,300 
1,180 
20,800 
4,600 
112,000 
20 
NewCaledonia9                                         
Norway                                              
Philippines                                            
Polande                                              
Rhodesia,Southerne                                      
SouthAfrica,Republicof                                  
United Kingdom                                        
U.S.S.R.~                                              
UnitedStates1°                                         
Total                                           
42,055 
r36029 
16,798 
3,100 
11,000 
18,700 
36,514 
r171,000 r33,939 
31,177 
42,132 
24,111 
3,100 
14,300 
19,000 
25,525 r179,000 
37,897 
21,924 
26,166 
20,613 
3,100 
14,300 
19,300 
23,553 
185,000 
37,298 
34,300 
33,820 
23,470 
3,100 
14,600 
19,300 
~20,594 
190,000 
~41,293 
823,158 
811,375 
694,740 
719,895 
eRet~~te. ' 5Preliminary. rf~(,,~ed. 
1Refined nickel plus nickel content of ferronickel produced from ore and/or
concentrates unless otherwise specified. 
21n addition to the countries listed, Albania is known to have initiated
smelter production in 1978, and North Korea is believed to have produced
metallic nickel and/or ferronickel but information is inadequate for formulation
of reliable estimates of output levels. Several countries produce nickel-containing
mattes, but output of nickel in such materials have been excluded from this
table in order to avoid double counting. Countries producing matte include
the following, with output indicated in short tons: Australia: 1976—35,260;
1977—36,650; 1978—36,045; 1979 (estimated)—36,400;
Botswana:
1976—13,093; 1977—13,331; 1978—17,691; 1979-(estimated)—19,500;
Indonesia: 1976—nil; 1977 (estimated)— 3,120; 1978 (estimated)—7,280;
1979 (estimated)—11,100; New Caledonia: 1976—26,190;
1977—25,395;
1978—18,853; 1979 (estimated)—13,900. 
3Refined nickel content of oxide. 
4Reported figure. 
5Data published in previous editions represented nickel content of copper-nickel
matte, and has been deleted from table to avoid double counting. (This nickel
has been reported as refined nickel output in countries that import matte
from Botswana and process it into fmal smelter products). 
6Nickel content of ferronickel only. (No refined nickel is produced.) 
' Includes nickel content of ferronickel, refined nickel and nickel oxide.
5lncludes nickel content of nickel alloys. 
9Series revised to represent only the nickel content of ferronickel, omitting
the nickel content of nickel matte that was included in previous editions;
this has been done to avoid double counting. 
10Byproduct of metal refining, including that derived from both domestic
ores and imported materials. 
638 
MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1978-79 
provide feed stocks on a long-term basis from the Thompson area. Total refined
nickel production was 13,460 tons in 1978, slightly higher than production
in 1977, and 15,900 tons in 1979. 
 Colombia.—Final financing for Econiquel (Cerro Matoso S.A.) was
arranged
late in 1978, and it was announced that construction of the Montelibano ferronickel
plant would begin in March 1979. Upon completion in 1982, the $360 million
facility is expected to produce 21,000 tons per year of nickel in ferronickel
for export. Participation in the project is distributed as follows: 
45%, Econiquel; 35%, Billiton Overseas NV (a subsidiary of Shell-Netherlands);
and 20%, Hanna Mining Co. Hanna will also hold the management contract. 
 Cuba.—Cuban production continued at the annual rate of 40,000
tons
of contained 
nickel in two products— a nickel-cobalt matte which is shipped
to Eastern
Europe for further refining, and a finished nickel oxide sinter (76% nickel)
which is shipped to Western and Eastern European countries. Expansion of
the two complexes, previously known as Nicaro and Moa Bay, is underway with
a planned annual combined capacity of 50,000 tons by 1981. 
 A second expansion phase involves a new integrated facility of 36,000 tons
capacity at Punta Gorda which is reportedly under construction and scheduled
to begin production in 1982. An additional new plant of similar capacity
is to be constructed at Las Camaroicas with initial operation in 1984. 
 Dominican Republic.—Falconbridge Dominicana C. por A. operated
at
reduced capacity (about 45%) during 1978, and shipped 21,700 tons of nickel
in ferronickel, 


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