What Kaduna Can Do With Its Nickel


The good news is already all over the news. Kaduna state has just discovered Nickel deposits which according to the federal ministry of solid minerals was discovered in conjunction with an Australian mining syndicate.

Hugh Morgan, the head of the said syndicate said “The discovery is unusual because the nickel is found in small balls up to 3mm in diameter of a high purity in shallow soils in what could be the surface expression of a much bigger hard-rock nickel field,” the newspaper said.

“The nickel balls, rumoured to grade better than 90 per cent nickel and thought to be a world first given their widespread distribution, offer the potential for early cashflow from a simple and low-cost screening operation to fund a full assessment of the find that has exploration circles buzzing.”

However, many people might not really understand what ‘nickel’ is:

‘Nickel is a chemical element with symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile. Pure nickel, powdered to maximize the reactive surface area, shows a significant chemical activity, but larger pieces are slow to react with air understandard conditions because an oxide layer forms on the surface and prevents further corrosion’

So in case you are wondering if nickel is any good, see below the uses of this precious metal and how it will benefit Kaduna state.

According to the Nickel Institute, most important are alloys of iron, nickel and chromium, of which stainless steels (frequently 8-12% nickel) are the largest volume. Nickel based alloys – like stainless steel but with higher nickel contents – are used for more demanding applications such as gas turbines and some chemical plants

In addition, iron and nickel alloys are used in electronics and specialist engineering, while copper-nickel alloys are used for coinage and marine engineering.

There are about 3000 nickel-containing alloys in everyday use. About 90% of all new nickel sold each year goes into alloys, two-thirds going into stainless steel.

Nickel metal is used to provide hard-wearing decorative and engineering coatings as ‘nickel-plating’ or ‘electroless nickel coating’ or ‘electroforming’. When used with a top layer of chromium, it is popularly known as ‘chrome-plating’. When done in combination with silicon carbide it is known as composite plating.

Nickel is a key part of several rechargeable battery systems used in electronics, power tools, transport and emergency power supply. Most important today are nickel-metal hydride (NiMH).

Nickel is a key ingredient in many catalysts used to make chemical reactions more efficient.

Nickel use is growing at about 4% each year while use of nickel-containing stainless steel is growing at about 6%. The fastest growth today is seen in the newly and rapidly industrializing countries, especially in Asia. Nickel-containing materials are needed to modernize infrastructure, for industry and to meet the material aspirations of their populations.

It is expected that Kaduna will be using tax revenue from the nickel production to develop to develop the state.

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