Making the most of Nickel

As with any metal on the Planet Earth, Nickel is a finite and essential resource. When it is discovered, it is a source of great importance. Firstly, it will create wealth and employment opportunities in the area. Secondly, it means that the industry has a new source of this vital metal to complete projects in the electronics and component industries. For example, without nickel, the production of mobile phones is severely compromised, and so is the vast and varied service industry of plating surface areas. Nickel composites are used by such companies as They will use nickel for significant effect.

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The reason why nickel is so sought after is that it is the perfect ductile metal. This means that it is excellent at transferring heat and electricity in a controlled way. When it comes to electronics, this is vital. A sustainable and controlled pulse of electricity through an electrical system is needed so that the product works properly. This is particularly true with mobile phones. Without nickel, phones would be heavier and have to be larger in size, plus they would not function as well as they do.

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Nickel is also one of the most rust-resistant metals that we know of.  This is why we use it to coat more abundant metals like iron and copper. These metals are prone to rust, so we must protect them with a thin veneer of nickel. It’s rare for something to be of solid nickel, given its scarcity and cost to extract.

As with any underground material, the only way to extract it is through mining. Mining is an invasive method of getting nickel out of the ground. Many are open cast and also located in areas of environmental importance. Nickel is not a common, occurring metal by any means. It is found where there has been a prehistoric meteorite strike that has changed the structure of the earth and rocks underneath. The biggest Nickel mines are currently located in Russia, the Philippines and Canada. The Canadian mine is due to close in 2034, but, given the state of relations with Russia, it may have to be mined out completely. The continuing rise in the demand for mobile phones and tablets will see even more of an increase in demand.

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