About nickel in Australia
Australia is a major producer of nickel ores and concentrates. Nickel has a number of commercial applications, with more than 80 per cent of nickel used to make nickel alloys.
Western Australia currently produces 100 per cent of Australia's mined nickel. In response to the global downturn, a number of nickel mines were placed on care and maintenance. Some of these mines have reopened or have changed hands and are now being redeveloped. Despite some reductions in mine production announced by BHP Billiton, Australia's production of nickel is expected to increase in the medium term as some sectors of the industry increase output.
Nickel refineries are located in Queensland and Western Australia, with a smelter in Western Australia. Nickel West, part of BHP Billiton, is Australia's largest nickel producer. The Yabulu nickel refinery in Queensland is owned by Queensland Nickel. After placing some of its nickel assets on care and maintenance during the global financial crisis, Russian based Norilsk has been reopening some of its Australian based mines.
Australia is a member of the International Nickel Study Group (INSG), an intergovernmental organisation which provides opportunities for regular consultations on international trade issues related to nickel.
For more information about nickel, see the Geoscience Australia website.
For more information about minerals in Australia, see Australian Mineral Commodities.
Further information about the INSG is available from the department's International metal study groups webpage and the International Nickel Study Group website.