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Russia is a nickel giant with with almost a third of total world’s supply based on proven and probable reserves.

Data was compiled on April 2018 from Mining Intelligence summing all probable and proven nickel reserves by property.

Russia has an 15M tonnes of the estimated 51.4M tonnes total reserves worldwide. Canada is second with 15%. The United States has just 340K tonnes, less than 1%.

Nickel is growing in importance. Nickel is needed to make lithium ion batteries. Although battery demand is currently just four percent of total demand, the ratio will increase as more electric cars get built. Nickel is mostly used for making stainless steel, which currently constitutes 70 percent of demand.

While the news is exciting, prices are not going up. Nickel demand is expected to soften in 2018 with more output from Indonesia, less nickel demand from China and the electric car build out still years away.

“There are just a handful of nickel miners that dominate,” says Glen Jones, Managing Director of Mining Intelligence.

The top three nickel companies based on nickel reserves are Norilsk Nickel at 35% of world total, followed by Vale at 20% and Royal Nickel at 8%.

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Creative Commons image of Soviet Union map by Justin Taylor

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