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FOREIGN PRODUCTION.

Canada.-The great ore bodies nead Sudbury, Ontario, are the most remarkable nickel deposits in the world. The proved ore of the Sudbury area is conservatively stated at 70,000,000 tons, and the probable supply exceeds 150,000,000 tons of ore containing at least 4 per cent nickel plus copper, in an estimated ratio of 2 to 1. (Ont. Nickel Comm., pp. XXLX and A--10.) No such vast bodies of workable nickel ore are known in any other country. At present these ores furnish at least 60 per cent of the world's output.

In addition to these large deposits of copper-nickel ores, Canada also has nickel reserves in the Cobalt district. Cobalt and a small amount of nickel have been recovered from the silver ores of this district for the last three or four years.

A small tonnage of nickel ore from the Alexo mine near Porcupine. Ontario, is smelted at Coniston with the Sudbury ore. Nickel ore is reported from New Brunswick and Alberta, but has not been exploited.

New Caledonia. - From 1877 until about 1904, New Caledonia was the world's chief producer of nickel ore and is now second only to Canada. The ore bodies, while of fair size, are relatively small as compared to the Canadian deposits. At least 160,000 tons of metal have been mined and as much more can reasonably be expected from the present grade of ore (5 to 7 per cent). Accurate estimates of reserves are not possible, owing to their uncertain character. Large bodies of lower grade material are known to exist, but it is not feasible to work them at present. Unlike the Canadian and Norwegian deposits, which carry a large excess of sulphur, this element must be added in the smelting of the ores of this French colony to form matte. Convict labor was formerly largely employed in these mines, but no convicts have been employed for over 20 years, since the French discontinued sending convicts to the island.

Voruny. Prior to the advent of New Caledonia as a producer, Norway controlled the market for nickel ore. Mining was begun before 1850 and reached its zenith in the period 1870 to 1877. The maximum production was attained in 1876 with an output of 42,500 tons of ore containing 3.50 tons of nickel. Conditions then permitted the economic mining of ore containing about 1 per cent of nickel. The mines were closed for years by the active competition of New Caledonia. In recent years the introduction of the Ilvbinette electrolytic process of refining and the increased demand for nickel have brought about the reopening of the mines and a revival of the industry. In addition to local ores, small amounts of ore from Greece and elsewhere are treated in Norwegian plants.

The Norwegian ore deposits are similar in type to those of Sudbury, but are much smaller and lower grade.

Germany and Austria. --Although deposits of all three types of nickel-bearing ores had been mined in various localities in these countries, the production of metal from domestic ores was comparatively small up to the outbreak of the war. The production from these mines largely increased owing to war necessity, but neither of these countries is a factor in post-war production.

Other countries. -Nickel, chiefly in the form of silicate, has been derived from Greece, Madagascar, various Latin-American countries, Russia, Spain, Egypt, and even Great Britain. The Madagascar deposits may be important. Arsenical ores carrying nickel and cobalt with rich silver values were formerly mined in France. Sulphide ores, generally accompanied by copper, have also been mined in India, China, and Italy. Greece is the only producer of even minor importance at present in this list. Great Britain and France are great refining countries but produce no ore at present.

IMPORTS AND EXPORTS.

Large quantities of nickel matte are imported into the United States, the bulk of the matte coming from the International Nickel Co.'s smelter at Copper Cliff, Ontario, and sent to the refinery at Bayonne, N. J. The nickel content (given in pounds in the tables) is calculated from the figures supplied by the shippers. Since 1915 the only important countries of origin have been Canada and New Caledonia, although high-grade matte from New Caledonia ores is imported from France and the low-grade matte from New Caledonia comes both direct and via Australia. New Caledonia matte is refined by the United States Nickel Co. at New Brunswick, N. J. A small amount of ore originates in Peru and Australia.

No matte is exported from the United States; exports are confined practically entirely to metal.

The figures for exports do not include the enormous amount of nickel exported in nickel steel.

MARKETS AND PRICES.

Nickel metal.--The normal price of nickel is difficult to determine. The quotations of the several technical journals in normal times are invariably higher than the prices realized. Nickel has never been dealt with in the open market like iron, steel, copper and other staple commodities. The number of sellers is limited and most of the metal is sold on long-time contracts--generally for 5-year and sometimes for 10-year periods. Quotations are given in terms of ingot. Electrolytically refined metal has usually been quoted at 5 cents higher per pound. The price of "shot” was formerly about 3 cents higher than ordinary ingot, but since 1920 shot and ingot have been quoted at the same price.

The best obtainable evidence indicates that an average price of 35 to 36 cents per pound has been realized on commercial nickel ingot for the past 10 years. Higher prices have been charged for small lots and considerably lower rates on large orders. On account of the poor demand for the metal in 1921, prices were twice reduced. The following quotations were listed' by the International Nickel Co. in June, 1921: Nickel:

(ents per pound. Ingot..

41 Shot..

41 Elertrolytic. Malleable nickel ingot.. Valleable nickel sheet bars. Hot-rolled rods, grades A and C (base). Gold-drawn rods, grades i and (ihasei

72 Nickel alloys:

Copper nickel ingots..
Hot-rolled copper nickel rods.
Manganese nickel, hot-rolle i rods, grade ), low manganese i base)..
Manganese nickel, hot-rolled rods, grade I), high manganese (basei.

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1.3

67 Cents per paund.

35

38

56 55 53

Vonel metal:

Shot.. Blocks. Ingot. Sheet bars. Hot-rolled rods (base). ('old-drawn rods (base)... Hot-rolled sheets (base)... Machined hot-rolled rods (base). During the war the price of nickel rose to a less extent than that of most of the other metals. The increase in price probably did not exceed the increase in cost of production. This stability was maintained by the influence of long-term contracts along with the elimination of Germany as a market.

The statement that there was an understanding as to price between The International Nickel Co. and the Societe le Nickel or the Rothschilds is denied. In fact they were rivals and competitors. There are, however, but two or three purveyors of the metal, and prior to the war, the entire business of selling was in the hands of the Germans. The French companies were really controlled by Germans.

Nickel matte. --The statistics of value placed on the nickel and copper content of matte in the returns of Canadian producers previous to 1915 were based on 10 cents per pound for nickel and 7 cents per pound for copper in the Canadian Copper Co.'s matte (the International Nickel Co.) and 15 cents for nickel and 7 cents for copper on the Mond Nickel Co.'s matte. These figures were those used by the respective companies on their books and were purely arbitrary, bearing no relation to the cost of production or refining. In 1915 the Ontario Bureau of Mines adopted a valuation of 25 cents per pound for nickel and 10 cents per pound for copper in the matte. The latter figure was raised to 184 cents in 1916. None of the Sudbury matte is an article of commerce, as the several companies own both smelteries and refineries.

Ore.-There is no known market for nickel ore in the United States. Nickel present in ore received by the copper smelters is not paid for although it is recovered in the refinery. New Caledonian ores are bought at the mine for from 4 to 6 cents per pound of nickel contained.

COMPETITIVE CONDITIONS. Three big corporations control almost the entire world's production of nickel. The largest of these is an American company, the International Nickel Co., with mines and smelter near Copper Cliff (Sudbury district), Ontario, and a refinery at Constable look, N.J. Fully onehalf of the world supply of nickel is mined, smelted, and refined by this one company and its subsidiaries. The Societe Anonyme le Nickel ("le Nickel'') is a French company with various plants in England, Germany, and France. It operates almost exclusively on New Caledonian ore. It was the first large company in the field and, until outstripped by the International, was the dominant producer. The International also has holdings in New Caledonia but derives no ore from them. The only other important producer at present is the Mond Nickel Co.

1 Ont. Nickel Com. Rept., p. 19, Evidence Internationel Nickel ('o. Ibid. Evidence J. E. McAllister, p. A-124.

Since the United States has no adequate nickel deposits, its status in the nickel market is that of a refiner of high-grade matte. Fostered by a tariff on refined nickel that proved prohibitive to foreign refiners, a great refining industry has been developed. The industry is now so large that it not only supplies the domestic market but also has become the dominating factor in the foreign market.

In recent years there has been increasing agitation in Canada for the home refining of the Sudbury matte. Neither of the two big operators refines its matte in the Dominion. The Canadian Copper Co. (International Nickel) matte goes to the New Jersey plant of the parent corporation and the Mond Co. ships its matte to Wales for refining.

After the outbreak of the war and prior to the entrance of the United States, the possibility of Canadian nickel reaching the Central Powers caused apprehension. The American company opened its books to the Ontario government and took special precautions in allocating its product and avoided any possibility of its reaching Germany. The Deutschland secured over three-quarters of a million pounds of nickel 1 and further feeling was aroused across the border, even though it was practically proved that none of this nickel was of Canadian origin.

Under this pressure the International Nickel Co. commenced to build a Canadian refinery at Port Colburne, Ontario, on the shores of

a Lake Erie. Delays attended construction and the plant which was expected to be in operation late in 1917 was not completed until July, 1918. The New Jersey plant will be maintained.

The British-American Nickel Co. (British Canadian Nickel (o.) entered the Canadian field with a 10-year contract for its entire contemplated output of 6,000 tons of refined nickel annually to be bought by the British Government. Work on the smelter and in the mines was begun early in 1917, and production started in August 1920. The company has received financial assistance to the extent of over £600,000 from the British Government and is likely to become an important producer.

The main factor determining the choice of site for a refinery is the economical transport of raw material and of product. In the Orford process-International Nickel's refining method-about 4 tons of raw material are required for the production of 1 ton of refined nickel. Even in the Hybinette (electrolytic process general transportation facilities are of more importance than an especially low power rate. In the cold winters of Canada the heating of the large tank houses and maintaining the proper temperature of electrolyte in the tanks require large amounts of coal.

The Ontario Nickel ('ommission, after a thorough study of the situation, concluded that: "Any of the processes now in use for refining nickel could be successfully used in Ontario, and conditions and facilities are at least as good in this Province as in any other part of Canada." It further recommends the electrolytic process for Ontario conditions.

It is likely, however, that the facilities that have made New York harbor the greatest copper-refining center in the world will have a no less marked intluence in determining the location of nickel refineries. This location on tidewater in close proximity to major sources

CI.statement Providence Journal, reported in Eng. « Min, Jour., 102 (1916), p. 919.

of supplies and to market has advantages that have been proved again and again in the case of copper and other metals for the ultimate treatment of high-grade material. If copper and nickel salts are marketed the finished products may be heavier than the unrefined matte and the shipping charges correspondingly greater. Even with pure metal products, the matte contains only about 20 per cent of material that does not appear in the finished products, so accessibility to market and cheap freight on metal are quite as important as a shorter haul on the matte.

The International Nickel Co. (Ltd.) of Canada, which was organized in 1916 to build and operate the Port Colburne, Ontario, refinery of the American company of a similar name, was merged with the Canadian Copper Co., a subsidiary, which controlled the mining and smelting of the ore. The capital increase from $5,000,000 to $50,

$ 000,000 suggests the possibility of future enlargement of the Canadian plant and the gradual withdrawal of the operations from the United States and centering in Ontario. The Canadian plant is constructed on the unit system and additional capacity can be made as required. Under the Ontario tax regulations the corporation is subject to war taxes on the profit of its operations both in Canada and in the United States, although it is also taxed by the latter Government for its domestic operations. The International Nickel Co. made numerous protests, alleging undue discrimination by tho Ontario government in favor of the Mond Nickel Co. because the latter was permitted to deduct from its provincial taxes the amount of taxes paid in Great Britain where its matte is refined, whereas the former company must pay its full tax to the Ontario authorities without allowance for its American income taxes. The objections were overruled and appeal refused. Such discrimination is in line with the effort to bring about the refining of all Canadian matte in Canada.

MISCELLANEOUS TRADE CONDITIONS. The following statement was made by F. L: Merry, metallurgist, Swansea, Wales, before the Ontario Nickel Commission: To show how they crushed us in the States. First of all, they put on an ad valorem

gradually increasing it. When they put on the first duty we competed favorably. Then they increased that duty and ultimately got it to the point that we could no longer ship. That secured for them the whole of the home market. Then their increased output lessened their manufacturing costs and then they dumped it down in at cost in England (speaking of cobalt). If you could work in conjunction with the French house, you could do just what you like, and so you could with your nickel.

The Hybinette process is controlled in North America by the British America Nickel Corporation (Ltd.). The contract covers all ores mined in North America and permits the company to use the process in any country.

AGITATION FOR HOME-REFINING OF CANADIAN ORES. The export of Sudbury nickel matte to the United States has long been a thorn in the flesh to the Canadians. Various measures have been proposed, through many years, for overcoming this, but only recently has the Canadian solution of the problem been worked out to the end that Canadian refining plants are actually in course of erection.

The history of the earlier agitation was as follows:

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