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Nickel Mining Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Mining Technique (Underground Mining , Open Cast Mining), By Application (Stainless Steel, Electroplating, Batteries, Nonferrous Alloys and Superalloys, Others) And Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Region :Global | Report ID: FBI104928 | Status : Ongoing



Nickel is a chemical element and a transition metal, mostly used for high-grade steel manufacturing. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, world production of nickel in mines was estimated to be some 2.7 million metric tons in 2019. The major countries in nickel mining include Indonesia, the Philippines, Russia, and New Caledonia. The leading companies based on nickel production as of 2019 were Tsingshan Group from China, Nornickel from Russia, and Vale from Brazil. In 2018, Vale produced 208,000 metric tons of nickel, while Nornickel produced some 166,265 metric tons. Nickel is a silvery-white lustrous metal. Nickel is used in a broad range of applications owing to its less corrosive nature and less ductility. Nickel is extracted for ores by roasting and reduction processes. The methods provide more than 70% purity, making it usable for the production of stainless steel without further purifying it.

Based on the mining technique, the global market can be segmented into underground mining and open cast mining. The Mining methods for nickel depend on the type of ore. The underground mining technique is expected to grow at the highest pace during the forecast period. In 2018, the underground Eagle Mine in Michigan produced approximately 19,000 tons of nickel in concentrate, which was exported to smelters in Canada and overseas.

Based on application, the global market can be segmented into stainless steel, electroplating, batteries, nonferrous alloys and superalloys, and others. The majority of the nickel produced across the globe is used for the production of alloy steel such as nickel steel and nickel cast iron. Growing investment infrastructure projects in developing countries fuelling the growth of the market. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, around 47% of the primary nickel consumed went into stainless and alloy steel products.

Nickel is one of the major commercial grades of alloys used in stainless steel production. Nickel alloying holds for almost two-third of the stainless-steel production process across the world. In general, 8% of nickel is present in the commonly used grade of stainless steel. As of 2018, stainless steel production increased by about 5.2% compared to 2017. This ratio has increased in recent years due to rising Chinese stainless-steel production, which uses a high proportion of primary nickel units. Hence, increasing demand for stainless steel has swelled the demand for nickel mining. However, the high investment required for mining and environmental considerations related to the mining activities is the main restraint to the global nickel mining market.

Key Market Driver -

Increasing demand for stainless steel

Key Market Restraint -

High investment required

Key Players Covered:

Some of the major companies in the global nickel mining market are Vale SA, Rio Tinto Group, BHP Billiton plc, Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Tsingshan Group, MMC Norilsk Nickel, Eramet SA, Jinchuan Group Ltd, Xstrata Plc, and Minara Resources Ltd. among others.

Regional Analysis:

The global nickel mining market is studied across different regions like North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The Asia Pacific is anticipated to dominate the global nickel mining market during the forecast period. This is primarily due to the presence of large stainless-steel manufacturing companies and battery manufacturers. Philippines, Indonesia, and Australia are among the largest producer of nickel across the globe. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the production of nickel in Indonesian mines was estimated to be some 800,000 metric tons in 2019. 

Europe is expected to contribute significantly during the forecast period. High demand for electric vehicles is one of the major factors driving the growth of the market in Europe. Russia, Finland, and Norway are among the major producers of nickel in Europe. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the production of nickel in Russia was estimated to be some 270,000 metric tons in 2019. In Latin America, increasing industrialization coupled with infrastructure development has resulted in increasing demand for nickel. In Latin America, Brazil is the major producer of Nickel. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the country’s production of nickel was estimated to be some 67,000 metric tons in 2019.

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By Mining Technique

  • Underground Mining

  • Open Cast Mining


By Application

  • Stainless Steel

  • Electroplating

  • Batteries

  • Nonferrous Alloys and Superalloys

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (UK, Germany, France, Spain, Russia and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia and Rest of Asia Pacific)

  • Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and Rest of Latin America)

  • Middle East & Africa (South Africa, GCC and Rest of Middle East & Africa)

Key Industry Developments

  • In December 2020, BASF and Eramet have signed an agreement to jointly assess the development of a state-of-the-art nickel and cobalt hydrometallurgical refining complex. Such a development would include a High-Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) plant and a Base Metal Refinery (BMR).

  • In November 2020, Nickel Mines has signed an agreement with partner Shanghai Decent Investment to acquire a 70% stake in the Angel nickel project in Indonesia, for US$ 490 million. The Angel nickel project comprises four rotary kiln electric furnace (RKEF) lines and a captive 380MW power station, which is currently under construction within the Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP) on Halmahera Island in North Maluku province.

  • Ongoing
  • 2023
  • 2019-2022

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