How Is Nickel Obtained?


Quick Answer

Nickel has to be mined from ore. It is mined in 23 countries around the world and refined in 25 countries. Some of the countries where nickel is easiest to obtain are Canada, Russia, Cuba, China, Australia and Greece. Major countries that refine or smelt nickel include France, Japan, Norway, Finland and the United Kingdom.

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How Is Nickel Obtained?
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Full Answer

Elemental Matter claims that the word “nickel” comes from an abbreviation of the German word “kupfernickel.” Breaking down the German term, “kupfer” means copper, and “nickel” means devil or Satan. Together, the meaning is devil's copper. The Germans gave nickel this name because miners used to believe that the devil had changed the more valuable copper into a harder-to-mine metal: nickel. The name was officially given to the element by chemist Axel von Cronstedt.

Nickel is a silvery white metal that is hard yet malleable. This element is also a fair conductor of both electricity and heat. It is considered part of the iron-cobalt group of metals. Some nickel compounds are considered highly toxic, including nickel sulfide and nickel carbonyl. Nickel is mostly used in the making of corrosion-resistant alloys such as stainless steel. If nickel is added to glass, it gives the glass a greenish tint.

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