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The world's largest nickel producing countries in 2021 - report

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(Kitco News) - According to the preliminary estimate by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), global mine nickel production reached 2,700 thousand tonnes in 2021 and was 8% higher than 2,510 thousand tonnes of nickel produced in 2020.

Global mine nickel production, tonnes, 2010-2021. 2021* preliminary estimates. Source: USGS.

With 1,000 thousand tonnes of mined metal, Indonesia was once again an undisputed leader in nickel production, followed by the Philippines (370 thousand tonnes) and Russia (250 thousand tonnes).

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USGS said that mine nickel production in Indonesia increased by an estimated 30%, which was facilitated by the ongoing commissioning of integrated nickel pig iron and stainless-steel projects.

According to the report, the country’s first hydrometallurgical plant began operation in May on Obi Island. It was among several similar projects in the country that were designed to produce intermediate nickel products to be used as feed material at battery-grade nickel sulfate plants.

Largest nickel producing countries, tonnes of mined metal. 2021* preliminary estimates. Source: USGS.

USGS added that in 2021, the annual average LME cash price for nickel was estimated to have increased by 30% compared with that in 2020, which was attributed to expectations of increased use of nickel in electric vehicle batteries and continued strong demand for stainless steel.

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