Nickel has been found in Nigeria; Authorities at the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development yesterday confirmed the discovery of world class nickel in Kaduna State, by an Australian mining syndicate.
The name, ‘Nickel’ is said to come from the German word ‘Kupfernickel,’ meaning “Old Nick’s copper”- a term used by German miners. Nickel is a silvery-white metal with a shiny surface common to most metals, and is ductile and capable of being drawn into thin wires.
It is also said to be one of three naturally occurring elements that is strongly magnetic. The other two are iron and cobalt, but nickel is less magnetic than either iron or cobalt.
Nickel is used in many forms, including electric guitar strings, magnets and rechargeable batteries. It is added to a very important metal, alloy-stainless steel, which has numerous applications. It is used in cookware, cutlery, kitchen appliances and various bronzes and brasses as well as coins, among several others.
Findings revealed that the top ten countries where the mineral is found in tonnage include the Philippines (73,000), Russia (240,000), Canada (240,000), Australia (234,000), New Caledonia (190,000), Indonesia (170,000), Brazil (110,000) China (102,000), Colombia (73,000) and Cuba (57,000).
Following the discovery, Nigeria is set to join the league of the world’s largest producers as the find is said to offer potential for early cash flow. Nigeria’s current major source of nickel, scrap metals, currently yields an average 2.5 metric tons annually.
“The discovery is unusual because the nickel is found in small balls up to 3mm in diameter of a high purity in shallow soils in what could be the surface expression of a much bigger hard-rock nickel field.
“The nickel balls, rumored to grade better than 90 per cent nickel, and thought to be a world first, given their widespread distribution, offer the potential for early cash flow from a simple and low-cost screening operation to fund a full assessment of the find that has exploration circles buzzing,” The Australian reported.
A comprehensive report on the discovery will be made available by the Ministry as soon as possible.