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)
NICKEL 639 compared with 22,700 tons in 1977. Reduced. operations were necessitated by excess inventories; however, production rose to an estimated 27,650 tons in 1979. In late 1978, the company began marketing a new ferronickel product form, more suitable for mechanized handling; the individual coneshaped pieces weigh about 1 1/2 pounds. Finland.—Outokumpu Oy began commercial operations at the nickel-copper sulfide deposit at Vammala. Annual mine output of 400,000 tons of ore, averaging 0.7% nickel and 0.4% copper, replaces the company's former production at Vuonos. Total nickel production in 1978, all in the form of cathode nickel, was 8,268 tons. In 1979 production was estimated at 12,675 tons. France.—The new electrolytic refinery of Société Métallurgique Le Nickel (SLN) near LeHavre, France, was completed in July 1978 and trial production was initiated in the last months of the year; production in 1978 totaled 2,490 tons of cathode nickel. Production was halted in late 1978 by a serious fire in the refinery. Production resumed in October 1979, and an estimated 3,000 tons of nickel was produced from October through December. The facility has a design capacity of 13,000 tons annually. Greece.—Expansion of the Société Mmière et Métallurguque de Larymna S.A. (LARCO) facility at Boeotia, from 15,000 to 27,000 tons annual capacity of nickel in ferronickel, was completed early in 1979. The expansion included the provision of modern haulage trucks, a new kiln and electric smelting furnace. A project on the Island of Euboea, east of Athens, was postponed pending improvement in market conditions for nickel. Also delayed were new facilities planned by Eleusi Bauxite Mines. Production of nickel by LARCO in 1978 was 14,887 tons compared with 10,600 tons in 1977; the latter figure reflected a 3-month labor strike. Production in 1979 approximated 20,800 tons. Most of the ferronickel product is exported to the European Community, Sweden, and Canada. Guatemala.—A small matte shipment was made in February 1978 from the new plant of Exploraciones y Explotaciones Mmeras Izabal, S.A. (Eximbal). After a short operating period to train personnel, the kiln and smelting furnace were shut down for inspection and modifications and restarted late in the year. Additional shipments were made totaling 1,585 tons to the newly installed fluidized bed roaster at Clydach, Wales. Production during 1979 was 7,000 tons of nickel in matte, mostly shipped to Clydach. Indonesia.—Exports of nickel ore to Japan by P.T. Aneka Tambang, the Indonesia State mining corporation, were expected to total about 640,000 tons in the fiscal year ending May 31, 1979, compared with 830,000 tons in the previous fiscal year. The price for ore containing 2.4% nickel was $0.50 per pound of contained nickel, compared with $0.55 per pound in the previous fiséal year. Ferronickel production by Aneka Tambang in 1978 was equivalent to 4,349 tons, nickel content, and a similar volume was produced in 1979. A Japanese consortium of nickel refining companies postponed plans to develop nickel laterite mining and ferronickel production facilities at Gebe Island in the Halmahera Group. Construction was completed early in 1978 at the $900 million complex of P.T. International Nickel Indonesia at Soroako. One of the three process lines began operating in April, and the first shipment of high-nickel matte was made to Japan in May. Approximately 5,000 tons of nickel in matte were shipped in 1978, principally to Japan. Production in 1979 was 9,500 tons of nickel in 78%-nickel matte. P.T. Pacific Nikkel Indonesia, the principals of which are United States Steel Corp., Hoogovens Ijmuiden B.V., Amoco Minerals Co., a subsidiary of Standard Oil of Indiana, and the Indonesian Government, completed exploration and preliminary engineering for nickel production on Gag Island off the northwest coast of Irian Java. With a projected capitalization of $1,000 million, the project is based upon 150 to 200 million tons of delineated ore and use of a modified Sherritt Gordon hydrometallurgical process with an annual production potential of 55,000 tons of nickel in the form of powder or briquets. Financing was not completed and the project was postponed. Japan.—Japanese demand for nickel dodined during most of 1978 but recovered modestly in the last 4 months. Producers of refined nickel began the year with excessive inventories of imported lateritic ore and refined nickel and ferronickel products. As a result, quantities of ore imported from New Caledonia, Indonesia, and Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp. of the Philippines were reduced substantially in the fiscal year ending in March 1979. In general, for ores averaging over 2% nickel, payment was made on the basis of $0.50 per pound of nickel contained, a decline of 9% from the
http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/| As a work of the United States government, this material is in the public domain.| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright