Munali Nickel Mine -Zambia sole miner of the alloy has been planned to resume operations by June this year since it halted production in 2011.
The forecast resumption of production of the metal follows commencement of a preplanning programme by new investors and developers; the Times of Zambia reported citing Mines and Energy Minister Christopher Yaluma.
Company mining and Investments Limited (CMIL) has partnered with China’s Jinchuan Group to revive the mine that had been put under care and maintenance for the past two years -200 kilometres south of Lusaka in Mazabuka
“Given the programme, they should be starting full time before June because they are currently doing some ground works,” the paper quoted Yaluma.
Operations at the Zambian sole Nickel mine situated in Southern province were paralysed in 2011 due to plummeting base metal prices on the global market. The problems at the mines were compounded by earth tremors mainly experienced underground that threatened the future of the mines, forcing the company to shelve off the forecast production of the metal of 56,000 tons per annum.
It is used for making stainless steel and many other corrosion resistant alloys; Copper-nickel alloy tubing is used in desalination plants. Also, it’s used in coinage and for armour plating. When added to glass, nickel gives a green colour and primarily used for the alloys it forms.
Nickel plating is applied to other metals to provide a protective coating. Finely divided nickel is used as a catalyst for hydrogenating vegetable oils, experts say. Furthermore, Nickel is also used in ceramics, magnets, and batteries and it is present in most meteorites. Its presence is often used to distinguish meteorites from other minerals. Iron meteorites (siderites) may contain iron alloyed with 5-20 percent nickel.
Moreover, Nickel is commercially obtained from pentlandite and pyrrhotite and some deposits of nickel ore are located in Ontario, Australian, Cuba, and Indonesia.