The problems with mining Nickel
Nickel is mined from lateritic or sulfidic ores underground. Traditional methods of nickel mining are energy-intensive and environmentally damaging, emitting plumes of sulphur dioxide and carcinogenic dust. Most nickel is mined in Indonesia, Russia, Canada, Australia and the Philippines, but many mines are now facing growing pressure to either close or adapt to the modern age by using more sustainable mining and refining methods.
Nickel is mined in Indonesia, Russia, Canada, Australia and the Philippines, but many mines are now facing growing pressure to either close or adapt to the modern age by using more sustainable mining and refining methods.This pressure is driving down a stable supply of nickel.
Several years ago, Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel closed one of its longest-standing mines after the town of Norilsk became known as Russia’s most polluted city, having emitted 350,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide each year. The Philippines also closed or suspended 17 nickel mines earlier this year because of environmental concerns – further driving down access to supply.
The environmental damage caused by traditional methods of nickel mining is widely reported. In 2020, Yvonne Yue Li pointed out that nickel has the highest CO2 emission intensity of all mined metals (via Bloomberg), stating: “You may think steel is the most polluting metal when it comes to CO2 emission intensity, but actually nickel has the highest CO2 intensity of all metals.”
Change has to come, and the NewTek community is here to facilitate it.
Revolutionising an industry requires revolutionary effort. That’s why we’ve turned to decentralised community voting to empower the companies, products and institutes working to create and utilise more sustainable methods of nickel mining.