Nickel Mining in Canada

Here's a look at companies that are currently mining nickel in Canada.

nickel mining in canada

Canada is one of the world’s top five nickel-producing countries. Companies are exploring for the metal in most of the nation’s provinces, but the largest nickel deposits are the Thompson Nickel Belt in Manitoba, Ontario’s Sudbury Basin and the Ungava Peninsula in Quebec.

Nickel was first discovered in Canada in 1883, but the ore was not properly mined until the 1890s, according to the Canadian government. Currently, the majority of Canada’s nickel supply comes from the Sudbury Basin.

Sudbury became the nickel capital of the world after the establishment of corporation like International Nickel in 1902 and Falconbridge Nickel mines in 1928.

Where is Nickel Mined in Canada?

One of the major producers in Canada today is Vale Canada (NYSE:VALE), originally the International Nickel Company of Canada, and the Canadian division of Brazil-based mining giant Vale.

Vale is the world’s largest producer of nickel in the world and has seven nickel-mining sites in Canada. In 2016, the company produced 1,559,000 tonnes of nickel, with its Sudbury operation alone producing over 804,000 tonnes.

Glencore (LSE:GLEN) is another big nickel producer in the country. The company owns the Raglan Mine property in Northern Quebec, that spans an area of nearly 70 kilometres and consists of a series of high-grade ore deposits composed mostly of nickel and copper. In 2016, the mine produced 39,683 tonnes in nickel concentrate.

The Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations consist of Exploration, two underground mines (Nickel Rim South Mine and Fraser Mine), Strathcona Mill and the Sudbury Smelter. The facilities are spread throughout the geological formation known as the Sudbury Basin. In 2016, Glencore produced 24,127 tonnes in nickel concentrate from these operations.

Finally, Sherritt International (TSX:S) operates the Moa joint venture, that is located in Moa, Cuba and Fort Saskatchewan, Canada.

Exploration and Development Companies

Here’s an overview of the two main companies actively exploring and developing nickel projects in Canada.

North American Nickel (TSXV:NAN)

North American Nickel is a mineral exploration company with 100 percent owned properties in Maniitsoq, Greenland and Sudbury, Ontario. The Maniitsoq nickel-copper-PGE property in Greenland hosts numerous high-grade nickel-copper sulphide occurrences and initially was the largest exploration property ever granted in Greenland.

The Company’s Post Creek/Halcyon property in Sudbury lies along an interpreted extension of the Whistle Offset embayment structure. Such geological structures host major Ni-Cu-PGM deposits and producing mines within the Sudbury Camp.

In December, the company reported drilling and exploration results from the Fossilik area on their Maniitsoq project, that continues to have high grade mineralization.

Wellgreen Platinum (TSX:WG)

Wellgreen Platinum is a mining exploration and development company focused on the active advancement of its 100 percent owned Wellgreen platinum group metal (PGM) and nickel project. Located in the Yukon Territory, Canada, a 2015 Preliminary Economic Assessment  demonstrated that the Wellgreen PGM and nickel project has the potential to become a large, low cost open pit producer of platinum, palladium, gold, nickel, and copper.

The company also owns the nickel-copper-PGE Shining Tree property located in Fawcett Township, Ontario and the nickel-copper-PGM Shakespeare reserve in the same state, that is currently under care and maintenance. On March 1, the company announced results of metallurgical testwork at their Wellgreen deposit.

Other Projects to Watch

While few companies are focused entirely on nickel projects in Canada, many active companies hold Canadian nickel assets in addition to their other main projects. These include:

  • Benton Resources (TSXV:BEX): The Kingurutik Lake project is located near the Voisey’s Bay nickel-copper-cobalt deposit in Newfoundland and Labrador. Past work in the area has identified high grade copper and nickel.
  • Fieldex Exploration (TSXV:FLX): The company owns the nickel-copper-PGE Laforce property in Quebec.
  • Gossan Resources (TSXV:GSS): The Bird River project is located in Manitoba and covers 4,500 hectares.
  • Landore Resources (LSE:LND): The nickel-copper-cobalt-PGE Junior Lake property is located in the province of Ontario.
  • Noront Resources (TSXV:NOT): Noront’s first project is the Eagle’s Nest Mine, a high-grade nickel-copper-PGE deposit located in the Ring of Fire region of Northern Ontario.

Canada is also home to some companies that have been less active recently but still hold nickel projects. Those include:

  • Nickel North Exploration (TSXV:NNX) is an explorer focused on defining a copper-nickel-PGM resource at our Hawk Ridge Project in Northern Quebec.
  • Victory Nickel (TSXV:NI) is focused on becoming a mid-tier nickel producer by developing its existing properties, Minago, Mel and Lynn Lake in Manitoba, and Lac Rocher in northwestern Québec.
  • Hard Creek Nickel (TSX:HNC) is developing the Turnagain Nickel deposit, a giant nickel sulphide deposit in north central British Columbia.
  • Canadian Arrow (TSXV:CRO) owns two advanced nickel/copper mining projects located in Ontario, Canada. Its principal asset is the Kenbridge Project near the town of Kenora, Ontario.
  • Mustang Minerals (TSXV:MUM) is focused on exploration and development for nickel, copper and platinum group metals. The Company has two open pit deposits which comprise the Mayville Makwa nickel copper cobalt palladium project in Manitoba.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time news updates.

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.


 

This article is updated each year. Please scroll to the top for the most recent information.

Canada is one of the world’s top five nickel-producing countries. Companies are exploring for the metal in most of the nation’s provinces, but the largest nickel deposits are the Thompson Nickel Belt in Manitoba, Ontario’s Sudbury Basin and the Ungava Peninsula in Quebec.

Nickel was first discovered in Canada in 1883, but the ore was not properly mined until the 1890s, according to the Canadian government. Currently, the majority of Canada’s nickel supply comes from the Sudbury Basin.

Below is a list of some of the companies that are actively mining nickel in Canada.

Vale Canada (NYSE:VALE)

Vale Canada, originally the International Nickel Company of Canada, is the Canadian division of Brazil-based mining giant Vale. Vale is the second-largest producer of nickel in the world and has seven nickel-mining sites in Canada, including one in the mineral-rich area of Sudbury, the company’s website states. Vale also owns nickel assets in Brazil, Indonesia and New Caledonia.

In 2012, Vale Canada produced 9,869,000 of tonnes of nickel, supplying 14 percent of global primary nickel consumption. Its Sudbury operation alone produced over 59,000 tonnes of nickel in 2011.

Xstrata Nickel (LSE:GLEN)

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Xstrata Nickel operates nickel mines in Ontario and Quebec. The company’s other global nickel assets are located in the Dominican Republic and Australia.

Xstrata notes on its website that it is the fourth-largest nickel producer in the world. Its annual managed production of the metal is more than 106,000 tonnes. Both of the company’s Canadian nickel mines are underground operations. The Ontario operation is located in the Sudbury Basin and produces nickel and copper; its annual production capacity of nickel-in-concentrate as of 2011 is 69,459 tonnes. The company’s Raglan mine in Quebec has an annual nickel-in-concentrate output of 27,274 tonnes as of 2011.

Prophecy Platinum (TSXV:NKL)

This Canadian mining company is focused on the acquisition and development of platinum-group metals projects in various countries around the world. Prophecy Platinum has three different nickel assets in Canada.

Its Lynn Lake property is located in Northern Manitoba, and estimates put its measured, indicated and inferred nickel resource at 0.35 billion pounds. The Shakespeare reserve in Ontario has an indicated and inferred nickel resource of 38 million pounds. Finally, Prophecy’s Wellgreen project, located in Yukon Territory, has indicated and inferred nickel reserves of 2.21 billion pounds. It is one of the largest undeveloped nickel-sulphide projects in the world, Prophecy’s website states.

First Nickel (TSX:FNI)

Located in Canada, First Nickel is a mining and exploration company that is concentrated on base metals. Its primary asset is the Lockerby mine, located in Ontario’s Sudbury Basin; it is expected to produce about 10 million pounds of payable nickel per year.

The company acquired the mine in 2005 from Falconbridge and extracted 364,000 tonnes of ore from it between 2006 and 2008. First Nickel also operates nickel exploration projects in the Timmins and Belmont regions of Ontario.

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