A nickel industry is a sub-sector of nonferrous metallurgy including the enterprises for production and processing of nickel and cobalt ores, getting nickel and a cobalt.
The main types of nickel deposits:
copper-nickel sulfide deposits;
- silicate nickel and cobalt -nickel silicate;
The minor types:
copper- pyrite deposits;
gangue sulfide- arsenide complex deposits.
Ferromanganese concretions of the bottom of oceans can be a potential source.
Deposits of silicate ores are developed only by open pit, sulphide ones - by open and underground methods. Mining operations in pits are conducted by ledges, drilling of explosive wells is made by drilling rigs, loading is made by excavators. Type of transport is generally automobile.
As a result of metallurgical conversion they get metal nickel and a cobalt, their oxides, salts and powders, ferronickel. Russian metal nickel, nickel and cobalt powders surpass analogs of foreign firms in a number of indexes. Annually they produce about 228 tons of primary nickel in Russian. Nickel and cobalt are widely used in metallurgy, power, chemical, petrochemical and other industries.
Application: nickel is the basis of most super-alloys, for example of heat-resistant materials that are used in the aerospace industry for the details of power facilities; making of nickel plating on the surface of another metal in order to protect it from corrosion; production of iron-nickel, nickel-cadmium, nickel -zinc, nickel-hydrogen accumulators; in medicine - the manufacture of braces (nikelid titanium) and prosthetics; winding of strings of musical instruments.
Accomplished and current projects of Russian companies of nickel development abroad:
purchase and modernization of nickel refinery «Harjavalta» in Finland;
purchase and modernization of enterprise «Lake Johnston» in the field of sulfide ores, functioning enrichment plant, Australia;
expansion of production within project «Nkomati» in South Africa: joint investment in the project with South African company «African Rainbow Minerals Limited»;
development of mine «Tati» in Botswana.