Nickel Production Canada & USA – Nickel Producers
At present, there are approximately four operating nickel mines in Canada, and one operating nickel mines in the United States of America (USA). The nickel mining companies operating these nickel mines include large and mid-sized global diversified groups include Glencore, Vale and Lundin Mining. FPX Nickel Corp. is one of the few junior nickel mining companies in Canada.
Nickel and its compounds are essential for the manufacture of countless products that we rely on daily. Reflecting this vast use, Canada’s nickel and nickel-related products are exported to more than 100 countries.
In 2017, Canada produced an estimated 211,925 tonnes of nickel in concentrate from nickel mines located in Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. Canada also produced 163,200 tonnes of refined nickel at four refineries located in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta; Thompson, Manitoba; Sudbury, Ontario; and Long Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador. Global mine production of nickel in 2017 was estimated at 2.1 million tonnes. Canada ranked fifth, with 10% of global mined production.
Canada’s total trade in nickel and nickel-based products in 2017 was valued at $4.6 billion. Exports of nickel and nickel-based products were valued at $3.8 billion; imports were valued at $776 million.
Canada exported 132,000 tonnes of unwrought nickel valued at $1.9 billion in 2017. The United States imported 41% of this export trade, while 21% was destined for China/Hong Kong, 7% went to Belgium, 7% went to the Netherlands and the remainder was shipped to 23 other countries.
Nickel was first discovered in Canada in 1883, and began being mined the 1890s. Today the nation is one of the world’s five top-nickel producing countries.
Where are the nickel mines in Canada? Companies are exploring for the metal in most of the nation’s provinces, but the largest operational nickel mines and deposits are found in the Thompson Nickel Belt in Manitoba, Ontario’s Sudbury Basin and the Ungava Peninsula in Quebec.
Of those three locations, currently the majority of Canada’s nickel supply comes from the Sudbury Basin. Sudbury became the nickel capital of the world after the establishment of businesses like International Nickel in 1902 and Falconbridge in 1928.
One of Canada’s major nickel producers is Vale Canada, the Canadian division of Brazil-based miner Vale. Vale is the world’s largest nickel producer and has seven nickel sites in Canada. The company producer approximately 65,000 tonnes of nickel annually at its operations in Canada.
Glencore is another big nickel producer in the country. The company owns the Raglan nickel mine in Northern Quebec, which spans an area of nearly 70 kilometers and consists of a series of high-grade ore deposits composed mostly of nickel and copper. Along with Raglan, Glencore has the Sudbury nickel mines complex, which consist of two underground nickel mines (Nickel Rim South and Fraser), the Strathcona mill and the Sudbury smelter.