The Biggest Nickel Producers of 2018

According to the International Nickel Study Group (INSG), global refined nickel production was approximately 2.184 million metric tonnes in 2018. The world's ten largest nickel producers of that year accounted for over 60% of this total.

The statistics below are compiled from company annual and operation reports available from producer websites (based on individual corporate fiscal year 2018 production numbers).

Production numbers for each company indicated total refined nickel production, can be found beside the company's name and are indicated in kilotonnes (kt).

Note: 1kt equals 1,000 metric tonnes.

01
Vale SA—244kt

Vale is the second biggest mining company in the world and the largest private company in Latin America. Headquartered in Brazil and operating in 38 countries, Vale employs over 126,000 people, including employees and contractors.

Vale SA is a global leader in iron ore production and one of the biggest nickel producers.

02
MMC Norilsk Nickel—215kt

Norilsk Nickel is the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium while competing with the top producers of platinum and copper. Norilsk Nickel's key Russian production facilities include the Polar Division and the Kola Mining and Metallurgical Company.

03
Jinchuan Group Ltd.—150kt

The Jinchuan Group is China's largest producer of nickel, cobalt, and platinum group metals, as well as China's third-largest producer of copper. The Gansu-based company has operations in 24 international locations and had gross sales of $190 million in 2018.

04
Glencore—124 kt

Glencore is a major international producer of base and platinum group metals. With gross revenues of over US$ 30.5 billion (2010) and over 70,000 staff, Xstrata is one of the world's largest metals companies.

05
BHP Billiton Ltd.—91kt

BHP Billiton is one of the world's largest mining and resource companies with roughly 100,000 employees in over 25 countries. Key nickel assets include the Cerro Matoso mine in northwest Colombia, as well as the Nickel West and Worsley operations in Australia.

06
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co.—65kt

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. (SMM) is a subsidiary of the Sumitomo Group, one of Japan's largest keiretsu, or business enterprises. SMM is a major smelter and refiner of copper, nickel, and gold in Japan, and is invested in nickel mines and smelters in the Philippines, Indonesia, and New Caledonia.

The company's major nickel assets include the Niihama Nickel Refinery (nickel) in Ehime Prefecture, Japan and a 32% percent share ownership in the Ambatovy Project in Madagascar.

07
Sherritt International Corp.—63kt

Canadian-based Sherritt is a world leader in the mining and refining of nickel from lateritic ores with projects and operations in Canada, Cuba, Indonesia, and Madagascar.

Sherritt is invested in a 50/50 partnership a Moa Joint Venture in Cuba with General Nickel Company and is a 12% operator/owner in the Ambatovy Joint Venture in Madagascar.

08
Eramet SA—55kt

Eramet is a French mining and metallurgical group that employs around 14,000 staff and has operations in 20 countries on five continents. Eramet has three divisions focused on its main products; Nickel, manganese, and alloys. Nickel mining and refining are conducted in New Caledonia, Indonesia, and France.

09
Anglo American Plc—42kt

Anglo American is a major producer of platinum, diamonds, coal, copper, iron ore and nickel. The London-based company's nickel operations are located in Brazil and Venezuela. In 2010, Anglo American's gross revenues from nickel sales were approximately US$ 426 million.

10
Minara Resources Ltd.—39kt

Wholly-owned by Glencore International, Minara Resources is one of Australia's top nickel producers. Australia-based Minara operates the Murrin Murrin nickel-cobalt mining and refining project, which employs over 1,000 employees and contractors.