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Nickel was introduced at the London Metals Exchange, in 1979.

Nickel joined major non-ferrous metals, thanks to its characteristics of high resistance to corrosion. Only in 1900 it was discovered that the steel nickel became very resistant to corrosion. The steel industry is still the main user.

Specific characteristics of Nickel futures contract

Contract: At 99.80% Nickel with reference to Designation B39-79
Lot Size: 6 tonnes (with a tolerance of +/-2)
Margin per Lot: $7,542

Forms: Cathodes – – – Tiles Plate Balls
Quote: USD

The nickel is a chemical element with the atomic number 28. Its symbol is Ni


Nickel is a silvery metal, which can be polished with great ease. Belongs to the Group of iron, and is tough, malleable and ductile. Is combined with sulfur in millerite, with arsenic in niccolite, and with arsenic and sulfur in nickel.
For its excellent resistance to oxidation and chemical stability exposed to air, used for minting the coins of less value; to coat iron, brass etc; in some chemical equipment; in certain alloys such as German silver. Ferromagnetic, and is accompanied by very often with cobalt: both can be found in meteoric iron. Is absolutely loved for properties that gives the metallic alloys to which it belongs.
Nickel is one of the five ferromagnetic elements. Because of the particular alloy used the u.s. currency called "nickelino" is not the equivalent ferromagnetic Canadian it was up to the year of minting 1958 inclusive.
The most common oxidation state of nickel is +2, but also complex were observed in nickel oxidation States 0, +1 and +3.


About 65% of the nickel consumed in the Western world is used to fabricate austenitic stainless steel; another 12% is used in superalloys. The remaining 23% of requirements is divided between other types of steel, rechargeable batteries, catalysts and other chemicals, coinage, foundry and cladding products.
Its uses include:

  • Stainless steel and other corrosion-resistant alloys.
  • Nickel steel for armour and thief-proof safes.
  • Alnico, an alloy, is used in magnets.
  • Mu metal has a very high magnetic permeability, and using to shield magnetic fields.
  • Monel is a nickel alloy extremely resistant to corrosion, used to ship propellers, cooking equipment and piping of industrial chemical plants.
  • Shape memory alloys such as nitinol are used in robotics.
  • Rechargeable batteries, such as nickel metal hydride and nickel-cadmium batteries.

Mintage: in the Us and Canada nickel is used in five-cent coins (known as nickelini); in Italy, 50 coins and 100 Lire were made of cupronickel, stainless or two nickel alloys. Many other countries use or have used nickel in their coins.


Nickel is used at least by 3500 BC; some bronzes from what is now Syria contain up to 2% of nickel. There are also some Chinese manuscripts suggesting that "white copper" (paitung) was in use in the East between 1400 and 1700 BC. However, since the nickel ores can easily be confused with silver ores, the conscious use of nickel in the contemporary era.
Nickel-containing minerals (such as niccolite, or false copper) were popular in ancient times for the green color that confer to the glass. In 1751, Baron Axel Frederik Cronstedt, attempting to extract copper from niccolite obtained instead a white metal called nickel.
The first pure nickel coin was minted in 1881.


The bulk of the nickel mined comes from two types of mineral deposits; the first type are lateriti where the main mineral limonite nickelifera [(Fe, Ni) O (OH)] and garnierite (a hydrous nickel silicate). The second type are deposits of magmatic sulphides in which the mineral is the primary pentlandite [(Ni, Fe)9s.8].
In terms of quantity supplied, the Sudbury region of Ontario, Canada, produces about 30% of world nickel demand. Other deposits are in Russia, New Caledonia, Australia, Cuba and Indonesia. However, it is thought that the majority of nickel on Earth is concentrated in the nucleus of our planet.


The exposure (tlv-TWA) to metallic nickel and its soluble salts should not exceed 0.05 mg/cm3 for 40 hours per week; fumes and dust of nickel sulfide are considered carcinogens; many other compounds of nickel are suspected carcinogens.
Particularly sensitized people may show an allergy to nickel which occurs on the skin areas exposed to it. The European Union rule by Decree the amount of nickel which may be contained in products that are in contact with the skin. In 2002 in an article in the journal Nature, researchers have shown that the 1 and 2 coins euro exceed these limits. It seems that this is due to a galvanic reaction.