World primary nickel production in 1987 is projected by the Bureau of Mines to be 770,000 mt, slightly higher than that in 1986. Market economy country (mec) production in 1987 is projected to be about 524,000 mt, an increase of almost 5 pct over 1986 production. Production cutbacks and closures at Japanese ferronickel plants in 1987 resulted primarily from the strong yen and higher energy prices. Cutbacks also caused reductions in ore production from Indonesia, New Caledonia, and the Philippines. Technical problems affected production, to varying degrees, in Botswana, Indonesia, and Yugoslavia. World primary nickel production for 1988 is projected to be 787,000 mt, of which 536,000 mt will be produced in mec's. Increased production is projected from Botswana, Canada, Cuba, and possibly Greece and Yugoslavia, while slight production decreases are projected for Indonesia, New Caledonia, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe. South African nickel production in 1988 could be severely curtailed by social strife. In the early 1990's Brazil and China could be major economic competitors to western nickel producers.
Paper in Extractive Metallurgy of Nickel & Cobalt, Metall. Soc., 1988, PP. 3-12